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2021 space tourists |  laRegion.ch

2021 space tourists | laRegion.ch

What’s almost over is the year that took space tourism off the ground: From the sub-orbital flights of billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to the first movie shot on the International Space Station (ISS), here are ten important milestones that marked 2021.

In January, Texas-based Axiom Space announced its first direct private mission to the International Space Station, scheduled for 2022: called Ax-1, and it will feature three businessmen and a veteran astronaut. In May, a successful test of the new Starship SN15 prototype, the massive rocket designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX to carry astronauts to the Moon and Mars.

On July 11, British billionaire Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, was among the six champions of the first sub-orbital flight that crossed for a few minutes the boundaries of the atmosphere, about 85 kilometers over New Mexico.

On July 20, it was Amazon’s billionaire founder Jeff Bezos, who took off with three other passengers from the Texas desert aboard the New Shepard on his Blue Origin’s first sub-orbital flight.

In August, SpaceX broke the record for the world’s largest launch system, achieving a height of 120 meters by mounting the Starship SN-20 shuttle on a Super Heavy rocket.

On September 16, the Inspiration4 mission took off, with only the first civilian crew and no professional astronauts. On October 13, actor William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk from Star Trek) took off on New Shepard’s second manned suborbital flight from Blue Origin: at 90 years old, he conquered the record for oldest living man in space. .

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A few days later, the Russian space agency Roscosmos sent actress Yulia Peresild and director Klim Sypenko to the International Space Station to shoot some scenes of the movie “The Challenge”, defeating the hero of “Mission Impossible” Tom Cruise.

On December 11, a new suborbital flight from Blue Origin hosted the daughter of Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and former soccer player Michael Strahan on board. Finally, last December 20, the adventure of billionaire Yusaku Maezawa (founder of the largest online fashion store in Japan) on the International Space Station ended thanks to Space Adventures, an American company that acts as a real spaceflight agency.