SpaceX is set to launch a motley crew of amateur astronauts into space on Wednesday’s first-ever fully civilian orbital mission.
The crew of four include a high school dropout for a commander, a military medic who survived childhood cancer, an artist and college professor, and a man who won his seat through a charitable donation. .
This is who they are, what their journey is and how they got their place in what should be one of the most important space tourism flights of all time.
Commander and Benefactor: Jared Isaacman
Jared Isaacman, 38, is the driving force behind this adventure, having entered into a private agreement with SpaceX.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Mr Isaacman is using the trip to raise $ 200million (£ 146million) for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee – half of which came from his own pockets – and said the planned donation to St. Jude’s “far exceeds the cost of the mission.”
A high school dropout, Mr. Isaacman is the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, a payment processing company he started at the age of 16 in 1999.
Reportedly a billionaire and avid pilot, he set a speed record flying the world in 2009 while raising funds for the Make-A-Wish program, and then created Draken International, the world’s largest private fleet. fighter jets in the world.
He said: “I really want us to live in a world 50 or 100 years from now where people are jumping in their rockets like the Jetsons and there are families bouncing off the moon with their child in a spacesuit.
“I also think if we’re going to live in this world, we better beat childhood cancer along the way.”
Chief Physician and Hope Headquarters: Hayley Arceneaux
When Hayley Arceneaux was only 10 years old, she was diagnosed with bone cancer. She received treatment at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, including chemotherapy and life-saving surgery.
This operation consisted of replacing her knee and placing a titanium rod in her left femur.
Today, as a healthy adult, Ms Arceneaux works in the hospital – which she credits with saving her life – as a medical assistant for patients with leukemia and lymphoma.
She was selected for the mission by Mr. Isaacman, who said he couldn’t think of a better Brand Ambassador to represent St Jude and the spirit of hope in his mission.
“It is an incredible honor to be a part of this mission which not only raises critical funds for St. Jude’s rescue work, but also introduces new supporters to the cause and shows cancer survivors that anything is possible. “she said.
Generosity Headquarters: Chris Sembroski
Chris Sembroski won his seat for the mission thanks to a friend who donated to St Jude in July.
He is an employee of Lockheed Martin and a veteran of the US Air Force, where he helped maintain a fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles Minuteman III and deployed in Iraq.
He is described as having long had an interest in space exploration, and after leaving the Air Force, he studied professional aeronautics at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, where he met the unidentified friend who gave him his seat.
“Joining the Inspiration4 crew and their mission to support St Jude is truly a dream come true. I hope this flight inspires others to show generosity by pledging their support for St Jude and cheering on the children. to dream the impossible, ushering in a new era of space exploration open to all, ”he said.
Seat of Prosperity: Dr Sian Proctor
Dr. Sian Proctor was previously a finalist in the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program, holds a pilot’s license, and works as a professor of geosciences at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.
She was born in Guam to a father who worked for NASA at a tracking station during the Apollo missions and conducted a series of simulated space missions at the Habitat Analog and Hawaii Space Exploration Simulation (HI- SEAS).
She won her seat as a client of Mr. Isaacman’s Shift4 Payments, as part of a plan to select someone “who uses the new Shift4Shop e-commerce platform, which enables entrepreneurs to build and operate. develop successful e-commerce businesses online “.
Dr Proctor gave a TEDx talk titled Eat Like a Martian and previously published the Meals for Mars cookbook, following his NASA-funded HI-SEAS mission on food strategies for long-term space travel.
As an artist, she tries to encourage conversations about creating a fair, equitable, diverse and inclusive JEDI space or space environment.
She said: “I am delighted to be part of the historic Inspiration4 crew and to represent the Prosperity seat. Going into space has always been a dream of mine, and being able to inspire the world through art and poetry makes it even more special to me. “