I won a spot on the first SpaceX tourist flight but was forced to give it away for brutal reason

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I won a spot on the first SpaceX tourist flight but was forced to give it away for brutal reason

AIRLINE captain Kyle Hippchen won a once in a lifetime trip on Elon Musk's first tourist SpaceX flight.

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What seemed like a dream come true has left Hippchen “insanely disappointed” after he was left with no choice but to give his ticket to his friend.

I won a spot on the first SpaceX tourist flight but was forced to give it away for brutal reason

Global Tech News Daily

Kyle Hippchen (right) gave his ticket to his friend Chris Sembroski in an incredible act of generosity Credit: AP

I won a spot on the first SpaceX tourist flight but was forced to give it away for brutal reason

Global Tech News Daily

The SpaceX flight launched into orbit on September 15, 2021 Credit: AP

The first SpaceX all civilian flight into orbit took place on September 15, 2021.

Hippchen had to watch it take off without him from a VIP balcony.

He's only recently started speaking out more about why he had to give his seat to his college roommate.

The 43-year-old Florida-based captain was left devastated when he realised he was over the weight limit for the flight.

According to ABC News, he said: “I'm insanely disappointed. But it is what it is.”

He started sharing more about his story during his first visit to Nasa's Kennedy Space Center since his SpaceX flight loss.

Hippchen revealed that the weight limit for the SpaceX flight was 113 kilograms (249 pounds) but he weighed around 150kg (330 pounds).

There's also a height limit of 2 meters but Hippchen is 1.8 meters tall so height wasn't the problem.

Hippchen didn't realise that the flight had a weight limit until he had already applied 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 organisers that he was pulling out but they told him he had won.

This was in March and Hippchen knew the flight was planned for September.

He said: “I was trying to figure how I could drop 80 pounds in six months, which, I mean, it's possible, but it's not the most healthy thing in the world to do.”

The weight limit couldn't be exceeded for safety reasons and SpaceX needed to start designing the space suits.

In an incredible act of generosity, Hippchen gave his seat to his college roommate Chris Sembroski.

They roomed together while attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the late 1990s.

They'd also go with other space fans on long drives to see Nasa's shuttle launches and belonged to a space advocacy group.

Shift4 Payments founder and CEO Jared Isaacman raffled off a seat on the flight to raise money for St Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Hippchen bought $600 (£447) worth.

Sembroski bought $50 (£37) worth of the raffle tickets.

The friends didn't tell each other they'd entered as neither expected to be the winner out of all 72,000 entries.

It was Isaacman, the spaceflight's sponsor, who let Hippchen choose his own stand-in.

He told ABC News: “Kyle's willingness to gift his seat to Chris was an incredible act of generosity.”

Sembroski was extremely grateful and even took personal items of Hippchen's into space for him.

This included high school items, college rings and his great-uncle's World War I Purple Heart medal.

Sembroski  also called Hippchen before he got into the SpaceX Dragon capsule on September 15 and thanked him one more time.

Hippchen said he enjoyed watching the flight and even experienced 10 minutes of weightlessness in a special zero-gravity plane that friends and family of the crew could go on during the SpaceX flight.

He is yet to watch the Netflix series about the flight he missed.

I won a spot on the first SpaceX tourist flight but was forced to give it away for brutal reason

Hippchen and Sembroski were roommates in college Credit: AP

I won a spot on the first SpaceX tourist flight but was forced to give it away for brutal reason

The airline captain was able to watch the flight from a VIP area Credit: AP

In other news, Nasa has upgraded its asteroid hazard software with some key changes that should help it better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.

Nasa has revealed stunning footage of a solar flare in action.

And, the US space agency is planning for a 'golden asteroid' probing mission to launch this summer.

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