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First All-Civilian Space Flight will Benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital

Jared Isaacman, entrepreneur and pilot, will be chartering a four-seat SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule for what will be the first fully commercial, non-government piloted flight to orbit. SpaceX and Isaacman announced that this flight is a private, non-government mission that will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This will be the first flight with four private citizens to the International Space Station during an eight-day mission, and Isaacman's flight has no destination other than low-Earth orbit.

The flight, named Inspiration4, will be commanded by Isaacman, 37, who has more than 6,000 hours of flying time. Two seats are reserved for St. Jude and one for an entrepreneur who will be selected in an independently judged competition.

One of the St. Jude seats will be awarded to a frontline health care worker and the other to the winner of a national fundraising campaign that will attempt to raise $200 million for the famed research center. Isaacman has donated the first $100 million towards this goal.

"St. Jude's mission is not about rockets or space exploration, it's about treating some of the most heart wrenching conditions that any parent could imagine," Isaacman said during a teleconference with SpaceX founder Elon Musk. "And if we're going to continue making advances up there in space, then we have an obligation to do the same down here on Earth.

This will be the first flight with four private citizens to the International Space Station during an eight-day mission, and Isaacman's flight has no destination other than low-Earth orbit.

After circling the globe for several days, the capsule is expected to plunge back to Earth and splash down in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Canaveral. All four crew members will undergo medical screening and receive extensive training in spacecraft procedures and emergency operations.