SpaceX is launching its first all-civilian multi-day mission to space and back. Here are the members of the crew.
Kennedy Space Center announced the final two members of the crew of the Inspiration 4. The all-civilian crew of SpaceX Inspiration 4, chosen among contributors to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, TN.
Launch date is tentatively scheduled for September 15, 2021. The mission will last three days before returning to Earth and splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean. The mission is dedicated to fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. However, the Inspiration 4 has a secondary mission: proving as Heinlein and many other authors predicted, that there is a place for civilians in space.
Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran now working in the aerospace industry, and Sian Proctor, a pilot and science professor, will be joining mission commander Jared Isaacman and medical officer Hayley Arceneaux. Ms. Arceneaux is a Physician’s Assistant (PA) and a former St. Jude patient. She will be the first Cajun in space as well as the first person with a prosthetic in space.
Jared Isaacman is a billionaire and a jet pilot. He was the principal fundraiser and organizer of this mission. Isaacman is the CEO and founder of Shift4 Payments, a payment processing company. Mr. Isaacman donated “the costs for the seats and has committed $100 million to St. Jude in connection to the spaceflight. The crew and mission will carry the goal of raising upwards of $200 million to expand St. Jude’s childhood cancer research,” according to NASA.
The flight will be on a Space X Dragon 2 spacecraft. Elon Musk, contrary to rumors, will not be a member of the mission team. In April 2009, Isaacman set a world record for circumnavigating the globe in a light jet. He made the trip in 61 hours, 51 minutes, and 15 seconds, beating the previous world record by over 20 hours. The flight was a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. “The Inspiration 4 mission will be led by Jared Isaacman, the 38-year-old billionaire founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, a Pennsylvania-based payment processing company. Isaacman, who is a civilian pilot, is paying SpaceX founder Elon Musk for the opportunity to send him and the three other civilians into orbit.”
Sian Proctor is a scientist and STEM educator. She has appeared on TV several times, on The Colony on the Discovery Channel, on The STEM Journals, on Genius by Steven Hawking on PBS, and on Strange Evidence on the Science Channel.
Chris Sembroski won the St. Jude raffle for the chance to go to space. He is a USAF veteran currently working for Lockheed Martin in the aerospace industry. Sembroski was selected out of nearly 72,000 entries for contributing to a special fundraising campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that has raised about $15 million so far on top of the $100 million that Isaacman is donating.
St. Jude never charges any parent for their child’s care. When St. Jude was founded, the survival rate for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia was only four percent; in 2021, the survival rate is 94%.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.