Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Jared Isakman, the entrepreneur behind a startup to process payments, will fund a multi-million dollar flight into space aboard the SpaceX capsule, the Crew Dragon, which could be the first orbital flight. Absolutely inhabited entirely by people other than astronauts.
Isaacman, 37, said he would lead the mission scheduled for late 2021 and see the spacecraft make a “multi-day” trip to Earth orbit, according to a press release.
Isaacman bought 3 additional seats on the mission, which will be donated to an “ambassador” from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and any member of the public gets a chance to join the flight.
Indeed, Isaacman says, the ambassador to St. Jude has been chosen. He did not disclose any details about the identity of the ambassador, but confirmed that she would be a woman and a front-line healthcare worker “committed to helping children overcome cancer.”
The fourth seat is reserved for the winner of a contest, who must be a customer of Isekman’s e-commerce platform, Shift4Shop.
Eligible competitors will have to launch an online store on the platform and tweet a video clip of their “entrepreneurship story,” which will then be reviewed by a “panel of celebrity judges,” according to the company. The names of the rulers have not been disclosed yet.
It is not clear when the winners will be chosen, although Isaacman told reporters on a conference call on Monday that all crew members could start training within 30 days.
Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO, who has previously expressed an interest in joining the mission, has stated that he will not be onboard the Inspiration4 mission.
Isaacman added that this mission, dubbed “Inspiration4,” where the number “4” refers to the number of crew members, “fulfills a big dream and is a step towards a future where anyone can adventure and explore the stars.”