The launch of the Crew Dragon DM2 is often worded in a confusing way to the general public as the first commercial space launch. This Zapread post aims at putting this claim into some context.

The actual correct wording should be: the first commercially operated human orbital spaceflight launch. First of all, there is suborbital vs orbital space. Space kind of officially begins beyond 100 km altitude. Companies like Virgin Galactic are developing a Space Tourism service that would bring astronauts just over this treshold. Getting astronauts to actually orbit the Earth is a whole different ball game requiring much more potent rockets to reach an ISS altitude of 400 km and orbital velocity of 7.5 km/s. Secondly, commercial launches have been going on for many decades to put for example Telecom and Earth Observation satellites into orbit. 

The table below shows the evolution of Human orbital spaceflight together with some characteristics to demonstrate, that the DM2 mission is 'just' a little step towards a more economically sound way of bringing astronauts to Space. The next step, with a private citizen astronaut that is paying for him/herself, on-board a rocket operated by a commercial entity, would be the next step in the evolution. At this moment, Yusaku Maezawa is the most likely person to bring this evolution further.

Astronaut nameDate of launchAstronaut statusGround to Space operatorPaying entityDestination owner
Yuri GagarinApril 12, 1961Civil servantStateStateN/A (1 orbit)
Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov & Viktor PatsayevJune 6, 1971Civil servantStateStateState (Salyut-1)
Sergei Zalyotin & Alexander KaleryApril 4, 2000Civil servantStatePrivateState (Mir)
Dennis Tito
April 28, 2001Private citizenStatePrivateState (ISS)
Doug Hurley & Bob BehnkenMay 30, 2020Civil servantCommercial (SpaceX)StateState (ISS)
Yusaku Maezawa (planned)
2024Private citizenCommercial (SpaceX)Private

N/A (roundtrip moon)