SpaceX preparing for launch of all-civilian orbital flight

US billionaire Jared Isaacman in front of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on February 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. © Patrick T. FALLON, AFP/File

After Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, another billionaire is set to blast off into space – this time, aboard a SpaceX vehicle and into orbit. Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, has chartered the flight and is going with three other crew members, all of them civilians. But first, China's deepening crackdown on tech giants rattles markets. The Financial Times reports that Beijing intends to break up AliPay, the hugely popular payments app run by Jack Ma's Ant Group.


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