The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying an all-civilian brew has blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the first mission to orbit the globe.
A huge fireball lightened the sky as the rocket’s nine engines began to pull away from Earth on Wednesday.
After about 12 minutes later, the Dragon capsule separated from the rocket’s as the crew entered orbit, while the re-usable first stage headed back to Earth.
A SpaceX webcast of the launch showed Isaacman, 38, and his crewmates strapped into the pressurized cabin of their gleaming white SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.
“A few have gone before and many are about to follow,” said Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old billionaire who organized the flight.
The spaceship’s trajectory will take it to an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometers), which is farther into space than the International Space Station (ISS).
After three days of spinning around planet Earth, the four-person crew, of all Americans, will splash down off the Florida coast.
SpaceX, founded by billionaire Tesla owner Elon Musk, hasn’t disclosed what the trip cost Isaacman, but the price is believed to run into the tens of millions of dollars.
Inspiration4 is being led by a high school dropout who went on to found Shift4 Payments, which provides payment processing services.
His three crewmates were picked via a competition, and their stories have been followed in a Netflix documentary.