AIRLINE captain Kyle Hippchen earned his once-in-a-lifetime trip win on Elon Musk’s first SpaceX touring flight.
What seemed like a dream come true left Hippchen “deeply disappointed” after he had no choice but to hand over the ticket to his friend.
SpaceX’s first civilian flight into orbit took place on September 15, 2021.
Hippchen had to watch it take off without him from the VIP balcony.
He’s just started talking more about why he had to give up his chair to his college roommate.
The 43-year-old captain from Florida was disappointed when he realized he had exceeded the weight limit for the flight.
Based on ABC Newshe said: “I am extremely disappointed. But it is so.”
He began sharing more of his story during his first visit to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center since losing his SpaceX flight.
Hippchen revealed that the weight limit for the SpaceX flight is 113 kilograms (249 pounds) but he weighs about 150 kilograms (330 pounds).
There is also a height limit of 2 meters but Hippchen is 1.8 meters tall so height shouldn’t be an issue.
Hippchen didn’t realize the flight had a weight limit until he signed up to win a ticket in a contest.
He read the small print when he started receiving vague emails asking for details about himself.
He told the organizers he was going to withdraw but they told him he won.
It was March and Hippchen knew the flight was scheduled for September.
“I’m trying to figure out how I can lose 80 pounds in six months, I mean totally possible, but it’s not the healthiest thing in the world to do,” he said.
The weight limit cannot be exceeded for safety reasons, and SpaceX needs to begin designing space suits.
In an act of amazing generosity, Hippchen gave up his chair to his college roommate Chris Sembroski.
They shared a room together while attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the late 1990s.
They will also accompany other space fans on long-distance drives to watch Nasa space shuttle launches and be part of the pro-space group.
Shift4 Payments founder and CEO, Jared Isaacman, won a seat on a flight to raise money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Hippchen bought it worth $600 (£447).
Sembroski bought a $50 (£37) lottery ticket.
Friends who do not tell each other that they entered as expected will not turn out to be winners of the total 72,000 entries.
It was Isaacman, the spaceship’s sponsor, who left Hippchen to choose his own place.
I said ABC News: “Kyle’s willingness to give his seat to Chris is an amazing act of generosity.”
Sembroski was incredibly grateful and even brought Hippchen’s personal items into space for him.
These include high school items, a college ring, and his great-uncle’s Purple Heart World War I medal.
Sembroski also phoned Hippchen before he entered the SpaceX Dragon capsule on September 15 and thanked him again.
Hippchen said he enjoyed watching the flight and even spent 10 minutes of weightlessness on the special zero-gravity plane that the crew’s friends and family could ride during the SpaceX flight.
He has yet to watch the Netflix series about the flight he missed.
In other news, Nasa has upgraded Asteroid dangerous software with some key changes that will help it better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.
Nasa revealed Beautiful footage of solar energy burst into action.
And, the US space agency is planning for a ‘golden asteroid’ Exploration missions will launch this summer.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/17475077/spacex-tourist-flight-man-gave-up-seat-weight/ I won a spot on the first SpaceX tourist flight but was forced to give it up for brutal reasons