SpaceX’s Polaris Dawn to soon drive crew to 1st-ever ‘all-civilian’ spacewalk

New Delhi, July 5 (IANS) Polaris Dawn, run by tech billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is all set to drive billionaire Jared Isaacman, along with three others, for the first-ever ‘all-civilian’ spacewalk.

Polaris Dawn — the first commercial spaceflight mission with a spacewalk — is expected to launch on July 31. It is the first mission under “Polaris Programme” by Isaacman — the founder of Shift4, an online payment processing company.

He was the commander of the first “all-civilian” space mission Inspiration4, launched in 2021. He purchased three spaceflights with SpaceX, and named the series “Polaris Programme”.

“We are targeting no earlier than July 31 for the launch of Polaris Dawn,” the company said in a post on

While SpaceX is yet to formally announce the mission, it is expected to provide Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket as well as space suits for the intended spacewalk.

The spacewalk at about 700 kilometres above the Earth will also test the SpaceX-designed extravehicular activity (EVA) spacesuits needed for future long-duration missions including building a base on the Moon and a city on Mars.

The company noted that Dragon and the Polaris Dawn crew will spend up to five days in orbit.

Besides Isaacman, the other three crewmates, include pilot Scott “Kidd” Poteet, a retired lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force who served as the mission director for Inspiration4, mission specialist Sarah Gillis, who oversees SpaceX’s astronaut training programme, and medical officer Anna Menon, who manages the development of SpaceX’s crew operations while also serving the company’s mission control.

The mission is expected to fly higher than any crewed mission since the Apollo Programme ended in the 1970s, “endeavouring to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown”.

It will also research to understand better the effects of spaceflight and space radiation on human health.

The crew will also “be the first to test Starlink laser-based communications in space, providing valuable data for future space communications systems necessary for missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond”.

“Thanks to the hard work of SpaceX, PolarisProgram, and NASA teams, we cleared a critical milestone last week. More details on that test soon, but for now we are moving on to refresher sims and then off to @NASAKennedy,” Isaacman posted on X, early this week.

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