SpaceX is training astronauts for the world's first commercial spacewalk
The four-person crew set to fly on the upcoming all-civilian Polaris Dawn mission will start training this month for the first commercial spacewalk in history, a tweet from Jared Isaacman reveals.
The Polaris Dawn mission, commanded by Inspiration4 billionaire Jared Isaacman, also aims to reach the highest altitude Earth orbit ever flown, beating the current record of 853 miles above Earth to reach a peak altitude of about 870 miles.
If all goes to plan, it will be the furthest humans have flown from Earth since the last Moon landing in 1972.
In his tweet, Isaacman wrote that he was ready to "rejoin the Polaris Program crew next week for training."
According to SpaceflightNow, Isaacman also announced in a recent interview that the Polaris Dawn crew would begin training after SpaceX completed its busy period of astronaut missions of the last month, including the return of Crew-3, the launch of the private Ax-1 mission, and the launch of Crew-4.
The Polaris Program team will send the first crew to space on Starship
The Polaris Program is a series of launches, all of which will be commanded by Isaacman. Isaacman has announced that he has an agreement in place with SpaceX for the third Polaris program launch to be the first human spaceflight aboard its fully reusable launch vehicle Starship.
Before that can happen, SpaceX must wait for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to publish its environmental review, giving it the green light for the launch of Starship's orbital maiden flight. SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell recently announced that the launch could take place as soon as June or July.
In the meantime, the Polaris Dawn mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than November, meaning Isaacman and the rest of the crew have a good amount of time to prepare for that historic first commercial spacewalk — though Isaacman stated that they will have a "jammed" training schedule before liftoff.
Joining Isaacman on the mission will be retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant Scott "Kidd" Poteet, and Sarah Gillis and Anna Menon, both of whom are SpaceX employees. The crew will use a new extravehicular spacesuit developed by SpaceX for the mission. All of the crew will have to wear the new suit as the entire Crew Dragon capsule will have to be depressurized for the spacewalk, and the two astronauts remaining inside the capsule will still be exposed to the harsh conditions of space.
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