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'Space X is by far the most diversified of all of these space companies:' CEO of space ETF

·Markets Reporter
·3 min read
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SpaceX launched the first all-civilian crew into orbit on Wednesday evening. The liftoff at 8:02 p.m. from Kennedy Space Center in Florida is a major step towards the future of commercial space travel. 

"Few have come before, and many are about to follow," said billionaire Jared Isaacman from inside the spacecraft.

The 38-year-old founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments (FOUR) funded the mission called Inspiration4. The voyage benefits St Jude's Hospital. 

None of the four crew members on board are professional astronauts. All went through rigorous commercial astronaut training for the mission. They will spend the next three days orbiting Earth on the Dragon spacecraft developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX. 

The crew members include Isaacman, who is an accomplished pilot. He serves as commander. 

Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physicians' assistant at St. Jude's Hospital is the youngest American to go into orbit. She is chief medical officer on the capsule.

Dr. Sian Proctor is a 51-year-old geoscientist and STEM educator. She is the pilot on the journey, and the fourth African American woman to travel to space. 

Christopher Sembroski, 42, works in the aerospace industry. He is serving as Mission Specialist during the journey.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Inspiration4 crew launches from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on September 15, 2021. - The Inspiration4 mission, the first to send an all-civilian crew to orbit, will venture deeper into space than the International Space Station. (Photo by Chandan KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Inspiration4 crew launches from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on September 15, 2021. - The Inspiration4 mission, the first to send an all-civilian crew to orbit, will venture deeper into space than the International Space Station. (Photo by Chandan KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

The capsule will orbit about 575 kilometers away from Earth. The altitude is farther away than the International Space Station. The crew will spend time conducting experiments related to human physiology in microgravity. 

"Space is a unique environment and there are opportunities to use the microgravity environment to find and develop new treatments and cures for various diseases and ailments," founder of Space Advisors and author of Space is Open for Business, Robert Jacobson told Yahoo Finance.

"Props to Elon Musk for being open to flying Inspiration4. His approval of this mission means that he is confident in the safety and reliability of the vehicle, his teams, and the rest of the necessary infrastructure," he added.

Isaacman is the third billionaire to pay for a space-related voyage in recent months, and the first to fund a private voyage to orbit on a SpaceX vehicle.

Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) each took part in historic suborbital missions during the summer

"Of the three companies that are now attempting to showcase their capabilities for space tourism, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, SpaceX is by far the most diversified," ProcureAM CEO Andrew Chanin told Yahoo Finance Live on Wednesday. 

Chanin points out SpaceX has many different revenue streams and existing government contracts. 

"They're doing many different things currently and already have plans to do them in the future," said Chanin. "To the extent that space tourism isn't a major revenue stream for this company, it may not be the end of the world."

Upon completion of the multi-day journey, Dragon will reenter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.

Ines is a is a markets reporter covering stocks from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Follow her on Twitter at @ines_ferre

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