First private spacewalk will be postponed to 2024

The Polaris Dawn mission is likely to be postponed to 2024. This was stated in an interview by its initiator and sponsor, American billionaire Jared Isaacman.

Polaris Dawn Mission Objectives

The Polaris Dawn mission will be the first of three flights under the Polaris program. Its commander will be Isaacman, the crew will also include former US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Scott Poteet and SpaceX engineers Sarah Gillis and Anna Menon.

The concept of the Polaris Dawn mission. Source: Polaris

The upcoming flight has three main goals. Firstly, Crew Dragon should enter orbit with an apogee of 1,400 km and break the record set back in 1966 by the Gemini 11 mission (then it reached an altitude of 1,372 km).

The second task will be to conduct scientific research. In total, during the five-day flight, the mission participants plan to perform over 35 scientific experiments. The purpose of many of them will be to study the effect of increased radiation levels on the health of astronauts. Also, the mission participants plan to test the possibility of using Starlink satellites for communication.

And finally, during the flight, the first ever private spacewalk will take place. The operation will be performed at an altitude of 500 km, spacesuits created by SpaceX will be used for it.

Postponement of the Polaris Dawn flight date

Initially, the Polaris Dawn flight was scheduled for the end of 2022. But due to the need for additional training and changes to the design of Crew Dragon, it was postponed to 2023. This shift was not the last. In a recent interview, Jared Isaacman said that, most likely, the launch date of Polaris Dawn would shift again, this time to the beginning of 2024.

The crew of the Polaris Dawn mission. Source: Polaris

According to Isaacman, one of the reasons for the new postponement may be a delay in the development of a spacesuit for the mission. The billionaire admitted that this summer the participants of Polaris Dawn trained less than expected due to the lack of ready-made spacesuits. Nevertheless, given the test nature of the flight, according to Isaacman, there is nothing extraordinary about this.

In the interview, Isaacman also touched upon his proposal to carry out one of the next flights under the Polaris program to the Hubble telescope to raise its orbit. According to the billionaire, NASA is currently considering this plan, and he hopes very much that the organization will approve it.

According to

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