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Who Are the Civilians on SpaceX's Inspiration 4 Mission to Space?

By: Buzz Staff


Last Updated: September 16, 2021, 10:38 IST

The all civilian crew on SpaceX's Inspiration 4. Credits: Inspiration4/Twitter.

The all civilian crew on SpaceX's Inspiration 4. Credits: Inspiration4/Twitter.

Who are the four civilians lucky to be on SpaceX's Inspiration 4 spaceflight?

Early on Thursday morning, the four astronauts on SpaceX’s Inspiration 4, the first all reached space. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying four space tourists blasted off Wednesday night from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the first mission to orbit the globe with an all-civilian crew. Around 12 minutes later, the Dragon capsule separated from the rocket’s send stage as the crew entered orbit, while the re-usable first stage made its way back to Earth for a vertical landing on a sea barge. The spaceship’s trajectory will take it to an altitude of 357 miles (575 kilometers), which is deeper into space than the International Space Station (ISS). After spending three days spinning around the planet, the four-person crew, all Americans, will splash down off the Florida coast. SpaceX’s official Twitter handle which is posting live updates, confirmed that ‘astronauts are now officially in space! Dragon will conduct two phasing burns to reach its cruising orbit of 575km where the crew will spend the next three days orbiting planet Earth.’

But who are the four civilians lucky to be on the spaceflight?

Jared Isaacman

Isaacman is the founder and CEO of Shift4Payments, a platform facilitating payments amounting to more than $200 billion for one-third of all food chains in the United States of America, including giants like KFC, Arby’s, and Hilton, reports Forbes. He is also the sole financer of the three-day journey to an altitude above the Hubble Space Telescope’s orbit. In collaboration with SpaceX, Isaacmanaims to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The billionaire CEO, who is a school drop-out, is not just a corporate guy in a suit but also an adventure junkie. He is an accomplished jet pilot who can fly commercial and military flights and holds two world records for Speed-Around-The-World flights in 2008 and 2009. Isaacman made the record during another awareness program for the Make-a-wish Foundation. He has flown the MiG jet faster than the speed of sound and has covered multiple 80-plus-hours flying weeks. Not only is he an avid flight buff, but he has also climbed Mt. Vinson in Antarctica; however, he did not complete the climb due to hydration. He vows to cover the climb again.

Isaacman’s entrepreneurial flight began when he was just 15. At 28, he started Draken International, the world’s largest private air force, and then sold it to a defense contractor named ‘Blackstone’ for a nine-figure sum. A few years later, he took his payment platform Shift4Payments public, which made him a billionaire.

The crew recently took a look at the Cupola designed to give them the front-row view of the heavens, installed atop the Dragon Resilience. Inspiration 4 will be the first-of-its-kind trip to space and open the gates for mind-boggling developments in the Industry.

Hayley Arceneaux

29-year-old child cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will be the medical officer for the flight and also the first person in space with a prosthesis — a metal rod that was inserted in her leg to replace bone removed due to a tumour. Hayley will also be the youngest American to go to space and the youngest person ever to fly into orbit. According to SpaceX, only 553 humans have ever been to orbit.

St. Jude, where Arceneaux now works with leukemia and lymphoma patients, is the chief beneficiary of the Inspiration4 project, which Isaacman conceived primarily as a fundraising and promotional endeavor for the institute. Arceneaux has said she was motivated to take part in the spaceflight to show her young patients “what life can look like after cancer,” reported Reuters.

Chris Sembroski

A data engineer at aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Corp in Everett, Washington, Sembroski spent some of his free time in college launching high-powered model rockets and volunteered with ProSpace, a grassroots organization that lobbied on behalf of private space ventures on Capitol Hill, reported Reuters. Sembroski also conducted simulated space shuttle missions as a counselor for U.S. Space Camp, a government-funded science, technology and engineering youth camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

He joined the U.S. Air Force as an electro-mechanical technician, and was deployed to Iraq and also helped maintain a fleet of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles before leaving active duty in 2007. Sembroski was selected for the Inspiration4 crew through a sweepstakes that drew 72,000 applicants and raised $113 million in St. Jude donations. Chris Sembroski won his seat on the mission courtesy of a friend who donated to St Jude in July, reported Sky News.

Dr Sian Proctor

Dr. Sian Proctor was born in Guam but raised in Fairport, reported Whec.In She lives in Arizona, but graduated from Fairport. Dr. Proctor is an entrepreneur, educator, trained pilot and active voice in the space exploration community, and told News10 the mission makes her think about her father’s legacy. “I like to think that space has been in my DNA,” Proctor told the news portal in an interview in March 2021. “I was born on Guam and the reason why is my father worked at the NASA tracking station during the Apollo missions and I grew up with all this space memorabilia such as Neil Armstrong’s autograph to my father thanking him for all his help during Apollo 11.”

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first published:September 16, 2021, 10:37 IST
last updated:September 16, 2021, 10:38 IST