With a Billionaire’s Backing, SpaceX Sends Citizen Spacefliers Into Orbit for a Mission Like No Other

A tech billionaire and three other non-professional spacefliers blasted off today to begin the first non-governmental, philanthropic mission carrying a crew to orbit.

The founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, Jared Isaacman, is paying what’s thought to be in excess of $100 million for what’s expected to be a three-day flight in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

Isaacman organized the Inspiration4 mission with SpaceX’s help as a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. The 38-year-old billionaire kicked off the $200 million campaign with a commitment to donate $100 million himself.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:02 p.m. ET (5:02 p.m. PT). “Punch it, SpaceX!” Isaacman told mission control.

On the webcast, every phase of the ascent drew raucous cheers from hundreds of SpaceX employees who gathered at the company’s headquarters in California. Nearly half a million viewers watched

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Cleveland Clinic Mercy residency program to be named after Plain Township dentist

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CANTON – On Friday night at the Historic Onesto Hotel, it was the Stark County dentists’ version of “and one more thing.”

Tom Paumier, who has a longtime dental practice in Stark County, was among four dentists inducted this year into the Distinguished Dental Service Academy. It’s essentially a “lifetime achievement award” bestowed by the Stark County Dental Society each year since 1999.

But when the awards ceremony was set to end, the dental society had a surprise for Paumier.

More: Dentist will buy back candy, send it to troops and veterans

Two officials of Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital emerged to speak. They were Tom Turner, vice president of development and government relations, and David Gormsen, chief medical officer. Turner directed Paumier to remove the cloth covering an easel.

When he did so, he found a picture of a hallway in the offices of the hospital’s Dental General Practice

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