On February 1st, SpaceX announced it will launch the first all-civilian mission to space –You could win a seat by donating to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital! The mission is funded by Jared Isaacman, the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments to raise money for the charity that helps kids fight cancer. In addition to donating $100 million to St. Jude, he is donating three seats aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft “to individuals from the general public who will be announced in the weeks ahead. Learn more on how to potentially join this historic journey to space by visiting Inspiration4.com,” SpaceX said in a press release.
This mission enables access for everyday people who dream of going to space— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 1, 2021
Each Inspiration4 mission crewmember will represent the best traits of humanity: Leadership, Hope, Generosity, and Prosperity. Isaacman will represent ‘leadership’ as a skilled pilot and mission commander. He says Inspiration4 is “the realization of a lifelong dream and a step towards a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars.” The seat representing ‘Generosity’ is offered to the public, “Your donation to St. Jude means you could be the representative for Generosity on this space flight.” You can sign-up via the Inspiration4.com website to potentially win a flight to space. The seat representing ‘Hope’ is reserved for a St. Jude ambassador and the ‘Prosperity’ seat is offered to a Shift4 Payments user “who utilizes the new Shift4Shop eCommerce platform, which empowers entrepreneurs to build and grow successful eCommerce businesses online,” the company said in a statement.
Are you ready for takeoff? 🚀 The world's first all-civilian mission to space was just announced at @Spacex and St. Jude is honored to be included in this historic moment. Find out how you could win a seat aboard @inspiration4x. https://t.co/JwG7QJOhR6 pic.twitter.com/kGetAlGYU5— St. Jude (@StJude) February 1, 2021
The Inspiration4 mission is scheduled to take place during the fourth quarter of this year. A Falcon 9 rocket will launch Isaacman alongside a crew of three civilians aboard Crew Dragon from NASA’s Launch Pad-39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The crew will remain in orbit for a couple of days enjoying beautiful views of our planet through Dragon’s window. The spacecraft will circle Earth once every 90 minutes along a customized flight path. At the end of the adventure, Dragon will re-enter the atmosphere and conduct a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida.
The civilians will be selected on February 28 by an independent panel of judges. The civilian crew will be trained by SpaceX. They will learn all about the Dragon spacecraft, go through stress training that include how to handle zero-gravity environment, as well as “go through emergency preparedness training, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises, as well as partial and full mission simulations,” the company said. “I appreciate this tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to end childhood cancer here on Earth,” Isaacman stated.
“While a historic journey awaits us in space, I hope this mission reinforces how far inspiration can take us and the extraordinary achievements it leads to here on Earth.” – Jared Isaacman, Inspiration4 Commander pic.twitter.com/y41tsFJzNu— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) February 1, 2021
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.