SpaceX’s Polaris Program Aims for First All-Civilian Space Walk | Space

In 1999, fictional astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) pushed the boundaries of space exploration when he piloted an experimental spacecraft around the Earth. In the pilot of Farscape, Crichton was supposed to take advantage of Earth’s gravity to achieve incredible speeds. Instead, he slipped into a wormhole and rocketed across the galaxy.

Hopefully, the real-world crew of the upcoming Polaris Dawn mission have better luck.

Upcoming Polaris Dawn Mission Will Include the First All-Civilian Spacewalk

Planned for launch sometime this summer, Polaris Dawn will carry four civilian astronauts atop a Falcon 9 and farther into space than anyone has gone since Apollo for the first all-civilian spacewalk. It will be the first in-orbit test of SpaceX’s new EVA (extravehicular activity) suit as well as a new Dragon capsule, modified to handle exposure to the vacuum of space.

Polaris Dawn will be the first of three planned missions in the overarching Polaris Program, which aims to push the boundaries of commercial space exploration. The endeavor is being funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman, who’s no stranger to space. Isaacman flew on the first all-civilian SpaceX mission, Inspiration4, back in 2021. Part of the goal of that mission was to raise $250 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Polaris Program supports the same cause.

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