Elon Musk’s SpaceX company has put together its first all-civilian crew for a space mission later this year on board its iconic Falcon 9 rocket.

The space mission has been named Inspiration4 and will launch after September and is aiming for an altitude of 335 miles (540km), 75 miles higher than the International Space Station.

Four crew — led by billionaire Jared Isaacman who purchased his flight — include a physician assistant, a community college teacher, and a former Air Force man.

Isaacman, who runs Shift4 Payments, a US credit card processing company, is to pilot the Falcon 9 craft which takes off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

College tutor Sian Proctor, 51, is also a trained pilot and was selected by a judging panel for online ecommerce platform Shift4Shop.

She applied three times to NASA’s astronaut intake and took part in a simulated Mars mission on Hawaii. Her father worked at NASA’s space tracking station for the Apollo missions.

The Inspiration4 mission will orbit the Earth for three days in SpaceX’s Dragon space capsule following its launch in a Falcon 9 rocket.

To markets:

At lunchtime in Sydney, the ASX All Ordinaries index had risen 1.6 per cent in early trade to 7,082 points.

All three main US stock indexes finished lower overnight. The NASDAQ was down 14 points to 13,045, while the blue chip Dow Jones index dipped 10 points to 33,067.

The S&P 500 was down 13 points at 3,959 at Tuesday’s market close.

“US stocks ended down slightly Tuesday, with investors selling tech-related growth shares after US Treasury yields hit a 14-month high,” said stockbroker Argonaut in a note.

The price of gold has slipped below $US1,700 per ounce to $US1,685 ($2,212/ounce), Wednesday.

Ten-year bond rates up a little with the US yield trading at 1.74 per cent and Australia’s was at 1.82 per cent, both higher than a week ago.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Wednesday March 31:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market moving announcements


Continuing with the space theme Wednesday, Houston We Have (ASX:HWH) was the top performing stock in early trade rising 50 per cent after announcing an acquisition.

The analytical data firm uses patented augmented intelligence software to help companies make better decisions and deploys its automated technology solutions to various industries.

Houston We Have said its acquisition of Echo IQ, a specialist artificial intelligence company, will broaden its international growth prospects and artificial intelligence capability.

Echo IQ has developed a technology for predicting the heart condition aortic stenosis and can be used in the echocardiogram sector where 30 million such tests are performed each year, globally.

Houston We Have is paying $1m cash and $1.5m worth of its shares priced at 5 cents each for Echo IQ, and the deal is being funded by a $2.5m equity raising.

Peregrine Gold (ASX:PGD) marked its first day of trading on the ASX with a strong share performance following an IPO for $2.5m as it announced an exploration program.

The gold explorer is to begin reconnaissance over its recently acquired Pilbara gold project in WA which consists of seven exploration tenements totalling 636sqkm.

Oneview Healthcare (ASX:ONE) was another riser in early trade on announcing the launch of the world’s first cloud-based care experience platform.

Using Microsoft Azure technology, the CXP Cloud Enterprise platform makes it easier for health systems to support personalised whole-person care.

The health tech company said its platform will reduce non-clinical demands on healthcare teams and dovetails with the need for patient seclusion during the COVID pandemic.



Here are the worst performing ASX small cap stocks at 12pm Wednesday March 31:

Swipe or scroll to reveal the full table. Click headings to sort.

Stocks highlighted in yellow made market moving announcements


HSC Technology (ASX:HSC) was a poor performer in Wednesday ASX trading after it clarified the terms of its partnership arrangement between Telstra and Anglicare.

Telstra will use the company’s next generation of assistive technology solutions to provide services to Anglicare’s retirement living division in NSW.

The telecoms company is issuing 2,000 HSC Technology personal alarm systems to Anglicare that increases sales opportunities for the company.

HSC Technology said it was unable to quantify the payment it will receive from the Telstra-Anglicare partnership, however, it stressed the deal could lead to further projects and collaborations.