First Civilian Trip To Space



The Mission Crew (from left to right): Christopher Sembroski, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor, and Jared Isaacman

Samuel Felice , Reporting Journalist

On February 1, SpaceX announced that it will launch the first civilian mission to space. The launch is scheduled for the end of 2021. The crew mates will orbit the Earth in a Space Dragon Capsule. The mission, Inspiration4, looks to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; it has a goal of $200 million dollars for the research of childhood cancer and other deadly childhood diseases. The mission aired an ad during the Super Bowl and within ninety minutes of the airing, it had raised over 1 million dollars for the Children’s hospital. Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, has invested 1.9 billion dollars into the company. Musk did this only weeks after the company launched the first space mission on American soil since 2010. The company is launching more missions this year than it has in the past ten years, and among these is mission Inspiration4.

The crew of Inspiration4 will be led by Jared Issacmen, CEO and founder of Shift4 payments, who donated 100 million dollars to the mission as well. The four crew member spots were given to four everyday citizens. The first two of four spots were donated to St. Jude. The first spot was given to a frontline healthcare worker and childhood bone cancer survivor Haley Arceneaux. The second spot was given to Chris Sembroski who won the spot by donating to St. Jude’s Children Hospital. The third spot left in the crew was given to Sian Proctor for winning the Shift4 Payment independently judged public contest. The final spot on the crew is the commander Jared Issacmen. After the announcement of the four crew members, SpaceX announced that each one of these four members represents one of the four pillars on the mission. Issacmen represents the leadership pillar of the crew, while Arceneaux represents the hope pillar of the mission. Proctor will represent the prosperity pillar, and Sembroksi will represent the generosity pillar. Arceneaux, after surviving childhood cancer, will be the youngest person to ever go to space at the age of 29.

The trip is planned to launch on September 15, 2021 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This leaves the crew a little over six months of preparation for one of the most rigorous challenges imaginable. The mission will last a total of three days and will orbit the Earth at an altitude of about 335 miles, which is even higher than the International Space Station. The crew will orbit the Earth and, after their three days in space, will land off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. The mission will be monumental as well, for it will be the first that involves only civilians and will be the first to have this type of fundraising purpose. The mission, Inspiration4, represents the best of the world and is truly inspirational, not only for the four crew members, but for the thousands of lives that the two million dollars will help to improve and even save.