SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell announced the partnership on Tuesday morning. “This historic mission will forge a path to making spaceflight possible for all people who dream of it, and we are pleased to work with the Space Adventures’ team on the mission,” she said in a joint statement with Space Adventures.
Space Adventures, which was founded in 1998, will coordinate with private citizens seeking to take the trips. The company previously launched seven tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Russia’s Soyuz rockets. The next batch of spacefaring private citizens will join the ranks of Microsoft co-founder Charles Simonyi and Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist.
The crew will not dock with the ISS, and will instead embark on a “free-flying” mission, orbiting Earth. SpaceX said it will launch up to four passengers higher into Earth’s orbit than ever before. According to Space Adventures’ statement, the crew will sail to an altitude two or three times that of the ISS by late 2021 to mid 2022 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida.
Read more: Popular Mechanics