Family Encyclopedia >> Science

Overweight, this man could not travel with SpaceX

Kyle Hippchen, lucky winner of SpaceX's "A Ticket to Space" contest was forced to step down due to the weight limit set by the 'company. In September 2021, he therefore watched from the ground the take-off of the Falcon 9 rocket, which was carrying four space tourists.

A limit to respect

If you're not an astronaut, there are still two ways to get into space . The first is to buy a ticket, but obviously this is a very expensive undertaking. The second is to win a contest. Drawn from among 72,000 people, Kyle Hippchen, 43, was one of those chosen to participate in the first tourist flight in space provided by SpaceX in September 2021. The four space tourists thus embarked in the Falcon 9 rocket and lifted off from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (USA). The group spent three days in orbit around the Earth without any professional astronauts on board before returning.

Only, voila, Kyle Hippchen could not board and join the trip. As he explains in an article published by ABC News on January 28, 2022, he was indeed forced to give up his place. The problem is none other than the weight limit set by SpaceX for each passenger:113 kg. Unfortunately, Kyle Hippchen weighed 149 kg at the time of the incident.

Disappointed, but satisfied

Kyle Hippchen was therefore drawn and was one of the winners . SpaceX then contacted him to tell him the good news, but also to ask him for information about his physique. Unfortunately, unaware that there was a weight limit, the former airline pilot was simply rejected. Nevertheless, Kyle Hippchen was able to choose a person of his choice and offer him his place. The new chosen one was Chris Sembroski, roommate of Kyle Hippchen in the 1990s when he was studying at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Although extremely disappointed, Kyle Hippchen made up his mind and was still satisfied to be able to designate himself who was going to enjoy his trip. You should also know that the man had a time planned to lose weight. However, this involved losing no less than 36 kg in just six months . However, such a rapid loss could have been dangerous for his health. Thus, the choice to leave his place was surely the best thing to do.