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Dayton businessman among 3 visitors in SpaceX launch to space station

SpaceX Private Crew
Chris O'Meara
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon capsule attached, lifts off with the first private crew from Launch Complex 39A Friday, April 8, 2022, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

SpaceX has launched three rich businessmen, including an entrepreneur from Dayton, and their astronaut escort to the International Space Station for more than a week’s stay.

It is SpaceX’s first private charter flight to the orbiting lab after two years of carrying astronauts there for NASA. The Falcon rocket blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Friday.

Larry Connor of Dayton, Ohio, Mark Pathy of Canada and Eytan Stibbe of Isreal each paid $55 million apiece for the rocket ride and their stay.

Their chaperone is a former NASA astronaut. Russia has been hosting tourists at the space station for decades. NASA is finally getting into the act, after years of nixing visitors.