SpaceX's Polaris program ushers in a new era for private manned spaceflight

Jared Isaacman (Inspiration4) and SpaceX have announced the first private manned flight program which should include at least three missions. Polaris, that's its name, will not be satisfied with just sightseeing around the Planet. On the program, technological demonstrations, scientific experiments, fundraising and above all gaining experience in the field of human spaceflight to prepare for future human expeditions to the Moon and Mars. You will also be interested Inspiration4 Launch SpaceX's Falcon 9 successfully launched the Inspiration4 mission – the first civilian human spaceflight to orbit – from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Only a few months after his return to Earth, Jared Isaacman is preparing to return. After funding the Inspiration4 mission (September 2021) which aimed to demonstrate that everyone can fly in space, live and work there, the boss and founder of the company Shift4 Payments presented the Polaris program with SpaceX. This unique program of its kind is more akin to exploration than space tourism and will include at least three space flights. The goal is less to make circles around the Earth than to advance knowledge in the field of manned flights, with the help of a very wide variety of scientific experiments and technological demonstrations which will be carried out within the framework of partnerships with prestigious institutes and universities, as well as with the US Air Force. Polaris will also be used to raise funds, as with Inspiration4 which raised $240 million. The first mission, dubbed Polaris Dawn, is already in preparation. The crew has been named and unsurprisingly it will be led by Jared Isaacman. It includes Scott Poteet, a veteran member of Jared's team, and two SpaceX employees, Sarah Gillis and Anna Menon. Its launch is scheduled for the end of the year. The crew will fly aboard a Crew Dragon which will be used to its maximum capacity and should fly “as far as possible”. The four astronauts are expected to spend five days in orbit during which Jared Isaacman will perform a spacewalk 500 kilometers from Earth. This will be the first EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) performed by an astronaut from the private sector! For the occasion, Jared will use a suit made by SpaceX derived from that worn by astronauts on board the Crew Dragon, which cannot be used in space. The Polaris Dawn crew will also be the first to test and use the Starlink laser communication system in real conditions. From the Earth to the MoonAmong the scientific experiments planned during this first mission, we can cite one that aims to collect data on the space environment to better understand how radiation affects human biological systems and one whose research is related neuro-ocular syndrome associated with manned flights, which is a significant risk to human health in long-duration flights. The other two missions of the Polaris program do not yet have names or dates communicated. The second mission will also use a Crew Dragon, but with an even bolder mission profile. As for the third mission, it promises to be even more ambitious because it plans to use a Starship. As with the second mission, its objective has not been disclosed, but a flight around the Moon can be expected. Interested in what you just read?