Australia-US nuclear submarine deal to counter China, New South Wales records 1,351 new cases of COVID-19, as Lismore and Albury return to isolation, Victoria records 514 cases ahead of a slight easing of isolation.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has just launched American billionaire Jared Isaacman into orbit, along with two of his competition winners and a childhood cancer survivor healthcare professional.

This is the first charter passenger flight for SpaceX and a big step in space tourism by a private company, for the first time in 60 years of human space flights, not a single professional astronaut was on board the orbital rocket.

The spacecraft is expected to make a three-day journey in Earth’s orbit.

Making history: SpaceX's Inspiration4 launch, bringing an all-civilian crew into orbit.

Making history: SpaceX’s Inspiration4 launch, bringing an all-civilian crew into orbit.

Within three minutes after takeoff, the rocket rose 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, reaching a speed of more than 7000 kilometers per hour.

“To be honest, it shocks me,” SpaceX Director Benji Reed said ahead of the launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. “Even now I get goosebumps when I talk about it.”

Pennsylvania entrepreneur who takes the bill, Jared Isaacman did not say how much he paid.

He and his fellow travelers will spend three days orbiting Earth at an unusually high altitude of 575 kilometers – 160 kilometers higher than the International Space Station – before causing a splashdown off the Florida coast this weekend.

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