Who is Jared Isaacman and what's his net worth?
SPACE geek Jared Isaacman is in training for his SpaceX voyage around the globe.
The American billionaire who made a fortune in tech and fighter jets wants "people jumping in their rockets like the Jetsons" 50 years from now.
Who is Jared Isaacman?
Jared Isaacman, 37, is SpaceX's newest astronaut.
The billionaire is buying an entire SpaceX flight, and plans to take three civilians with him to circle the globe later this year.
"I truly want us to live in a world 50 or 100 years from now where people are jumping in their rockets like the Jetsons and there are families bouncing around on the moon with their kid in a spacesuit,", said Isaacman, who turns 38 on February 11, 2021.
Isaacman's trip is the latest deal announced for private space travel and it's No. 1 on SpaceX's runway for an orbital trip.
Tech entrepreneur and pilot Isaacman started his first business at 15.
A space geek since kindergarten, Isaacman dropped out of high school when he was 16, and got a GED (General Educational Development) certificate.
"I was not very motivated about high school life," he said.
At this stage, he was flogging off credit-card terminals out of his parents’ basement, according to a Forbes profile.
That became the genesis for Shift4 – a large payments technology provider based in Pennsylvania.
He set a speed record flying around the world in 2009 while raising money for the Make-A-Wish program.
Isaacman later established Draken International, the world's largest private fleet of fighter jets at the age of 28.
Blackstone bought Draken for a nine-figure sum eight years later.
Isaacman is the founder and current CEO of Shift4 Payments in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Shift4 "handles more than $200billion in payments every year for a third of the country’s restaurants and hotels, including giants like Hilton, Four Seasons, KFC and Arby’s, which rely on it to complete complex payments across dozens of properties and locations," explains Forbes.
Aside from his business conquests, and daredevil aerial pursuits, Isaacman was on February 1, 2021, announced as taking part in the "world’s first all-civilian mission to space".
Announced from SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, it will be commanded by Isaacman, said a statement.
Besides fulfilling his dream of flying in space, Isaacman said that he aims to use the private trip to raise $200million for St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, with half coming from his own pockets.
A female health care worker for St. Jude already has been selected for the mission.
Anyone donating to St. Jude in February will be entered into a random drawing for seat No. 3.
The fourth seat will go to a business owner who uses Shift4 Payments, Isaacman's credit card processing firm.
SpaceX founder and boss Elon Musk expects the flight to last two to four days.
Musk said: "This is an important milestone toward enabling access to space for everyone."
What's his net worth?
Several websites estimate Jared Isaacman's net worth at about $2billion as of February 2021.
Forbes describes the businessman as a "thrill seeker who made his fortune training fighter pilots".
But his wealth soared in 2020, "thanks almost entirely to his 38 per cent stake in Shift4 Payments.
"He retains a small stake in Draken as part of an estimated $100million worth of additional assets, including a MiG jet and nine other planes," Forbes adds.
When is the SpaceX launch?
Launch of the Dragon spacecraft is being targeted for "no earlier than the fourth quarter of this year", said SpaceX.
Jared Isaacman has bought a Super Bowl ad to publicize the mission, dubbed Inspiration4, and is aiming for an October launch from Florida.
SpaceX says that during the multi-day mission, the astronauts will orbit Earth every 90 minutes.
After their mission, the spacecraft will re-enter the atmosphere for a water landing off the Florida coast.
In mid-November 2020, four astronauts were successfully carried into orbit by a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and boarded the International Space Station.
The Dragon capsule had just a week prior become the first spacecraft to be certified by NASA since the Space Shuttle nearly 40 years ago.
Its launch vehicle is the reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
At the end of its missions, the Crew Dragon deploys parachutes and then splashes down in water, just as in the Apollo era.
SpaceX is scheduled to launch two more crewed flights for NASA in 2021, including one in the spring, and four cargo refueling missions over the next 15 months.
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