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All-civilian SpaceX crew set to launch into orbit

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Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre previews SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission launch.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. We've got a big milestone for SpaceX today. The first all-civilian crew is headed to orbit this evening. If that trip is successful, it would mark a big leap for space tourism. For more on that, let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre. Ines, it feels like just over the last three months, there have been so many firsts within this space. How does this particular trip, aside from the fact that it's the first all-civilian crew, stand out from some of these other trips that we've seen from Virgin Galactic, as well as Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin?

INES FERRE: Yeah, this mission is so amazing, really, to watch. First of all, it's called Inspiration 4. It is-- there are non-professional astronauts on there, so all civilian, four of them. Jared Isaacman, he's 38 years old. He's a billionaire. He's also the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments. That's a payments company. He is funding this mission. And he donated two of the other seats to St. Jude's Hospital. And he also had a contest where another person was selected for a seat as well.

So the three people-- the other three people that are going are a 29-year-old physician's assistant from St. Jude Hospital. She's also a cancer survivor. And she will be the youngest American to go to orbit. You also have a woman named Sian Proctor. She's 51 years old geologist, a STEM professor. She won that ticket, won that seat to go. And then you have also an employee of Lockheed Martin. There was a raffle for St. Jude's for a ticket, and that person gifted it to Christopher Sembroski, who's that employee at Lockheed Martin. He's worked in the aerospace business, and he will be going.

So this is going to be different because it's also a three-day mission, orbiting the Earth. And besides being really a trip of a lifetime, they will also be conducting experiments in microgravity as well.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, and Jared Isaacman been on the show before with us here, Shift4, as you mentioned. But Ines, you know, it is kind of an interesting space because as fast as it's growing, you know, you think about these companies as competitors, right? I mean, maybe SpaceX isn't necessarily targeting consumers just yet, but I mean, all of this kind of builds on the excitement of space travel. And you think it might even boost maybe some of those companies like a Virgin Galactic.

INES FERRE: Yeah, definitely. I had a conversation with Robert Jacobson. He's an author and also involved in the space investment area. And he was saying, you know, when you're comparing this mission with other missions, it's really apples to oranges because Branson and Jeff Bezos, their recent missions were suborbital. And those are suborbital flights, which are very difficult to do and take a lot of coordination.

But this is an orbital flight, which it takes much more technical capability. It takes a lot more fuel, a lot more resources. It's just so much of a bigger scope. And their altitude will be reaching 575 kilometers, just to give you an idea. The International Space Station is at around 422 kilometers. So they're going farther out even than the International Space Station, higher up. So this is something that's such a different scope. I mean, SpaceX, really, since the beginning, has been in the orbital field, going into orbit.

As far as Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos's company, it plans to do that, but it's-- and they started roughly around the same time, close to the same time. But SpaceX really has sort of surpassed all of these. And of course, then, Virgin Galactic is really for space tourism. So, different companies, different types of missions, but certainly, yeah, when something like this happens, all of them are watching because it's really a boost for the space industry in general.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, different businesses, different missions. But the stocks, investors all hoping that they land to the moon, they want to go. Ines Ferre bringing us the latest there.

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