Human spaceflight just got a boost with new Polaris Program

To the moon, Mars, and beyond.
Fabienne Lang

Human spaceflight just got a major boost.

Polaris announced on February 14, 2022, that its first-of-its-kind Polaris Program is set to focus exclusively on rapidly advancing human spaceflight capabilities all while "continuing to raise funds and awareness for important causes on Earth," per the company's post on Twitter.

From Blue Origin's space tourism rides to last year's celebration of humans sending the 600th person to space in 60 years, more and more humans are being launched up to space. So it makes sense that a laser-focused program like the Polaris Program would solely focus on pushing along human spaceflight capabilities.

Three missions with one goal

Polaris already has three missions planned — a triple combination that perfectly reflects the three-starred constellation the company is named after — which will involve developing and using new technologies, extensive research, and the first SpaceX Starship flight with humans on board.

Mission I, Polaris Dawn, kicks off by launching SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. It will launch Dragon and Polaris Dawn crew to spend five days at the highest part of Earth orbit ever reached. There, the crew will carry out a spacewalk, support scientific research, and be the first to test Starlink laser-based communications in space.

Some of the crew's in-orbit research includes "gathering data on the radiation environment to better understand how space radiation affects human biological systems," and "providing biological samples towards multi-omics analyses for a long-term Biobank," per Polaris.

The mission will launch from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the fourth quarter of this year.

Mission II will work on Polaris Dawn's mission. And Mission III will be the first human spaceflight ever carried out on Starship — "the world’s first fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond," as Polaris states.

Human spaceflight advancements appear to be right around the corner and time will tell how the Polaris Program will do.

This was a breaking story and was updated as more information was shared. 

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