SpaceX to allow private citizens to launch into space on Dragon spacecraft, space exploration company announces

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL: A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen as it is raised into a vertical position on the launch pad (Photo by Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images). (Getty Images)

Space Adventures, a private space exploration company, announced on Tuesday that they have reached an agreement with SpaceX to launch private citizens on the Dragon spacecraft. They agreed that private citizens will be allowed to fly on the first Dragon free-flyer mission.

They said that the Dragon free-flyer mission will give up to four people the chance to break the world altitude record for private citizen spaceflight and see planet Earth from above. Those four will board the Dragon capsule, which will be launched by the company's Falcon 9 rocket. This is the same rocket that will reportedly transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

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"Creating unique and previously impossible opportunities for private citizens to experience space is why Space Adventures exists. Since 2001 our clients made history by flying over 36 million miles in space on 8 separate missions to the ISS," Space Adventures tweeted.

They went on to say that this mission will be a special experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

In January, after a successful abort test launch of their Dragon crew capsule, SpaceX announced that it is probable that the first crewed launch of the Dragon spacecraft will happen in the second quarter of 2020. Musk said that "the hardware necessary for the first crewed launch [we believe] will be ready by the end of February. However, there is still a lot of work once the hardware is ready to just cross-check everything. Triple-check, quadruple-check everything again until every stone has been turned over three or four times. And there is also the schedule for getting to the space station because the space station has a lot of things going to it, so when's the right time of this."

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He then added that "we're highly confident that the hardware will be ready in Q1, most likely the end of February, but no later than March. We think that it appears probable that the first crewed launch will occur in the second quarter."

This story was written in Orlando, Florida.