Shepparton News

Lift-off for first all-civilian crew

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CAPE CANAVERAL: A SpaceX rocket ship has blasted off from Florida carrying a billionair­e e-commerce executive and three private citizens he chose to join him in the first all-civilian crew ever launched into earth orbit.

The amateur astronauts, led by the American boss of financial services firm Shift4 Payments, Jared Isaacman, lifted off just before sunset on Wednesday (local time) from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.

A SpaceX webcast showed Mr Isaacman, 38, and his crewmates — Sian Proctor, 51, Hayley Arceneaux, 29, and Chris Sembroski, 42 — strapped into the pressurise­d cabin of their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed Resilience.

The flight, marking the first crewed mission to orbit with no profession­al astronauts along for the ride, is expected to last about three days from launch to splashdown in the Atlantic. It marks the debut f light of SpaceX owner Elon Musk’s new orbital tourism business.

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