SpaceX will launch the first all-civilian crew to space later this year, no earlier than September 11. The mission, known as ‘Inspiration4,’ is funded by Shift4Payments founder Jared Isaacman to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He donated $100 million to St. Jude and aims to fundraise an additional $100 million for the hospital that helps children fight cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Isaacman is invited the public on his space adventure, he offered two seats aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft for the general public. The four Inspiration4 crewmembers will embody some of the best traits of humanity: Leadership, Hope, Generosity, and Prosperity. Isaacman will represent ‘Leadership’ as mission commander. The crewmember that will represent ‘Hope’ is a former St. Jude patient and pediatric cancer survivor, Hayley Arceneaux, who currently works a physician assistant in the oncology unit at the hospital. At 29-years-old she will become the youngest American to visit space. The 'Generosity' seat was raffled off to the public, anyone who donated to St. Jude had a chance to win. The ‘Prosperity’ seat was open for an entrepreneur who launched a Shift4Shop website.
Today, March 30, Inspiration4 announced the winners of the Generosity and Prosperity seat aboard SpaceX’s first all-civilian crew. The person who won the St. Jude raffle is Chris Sembroski, who served in the United States Air Force, “maintaining a fleet of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and deploying for service in Iraq before leaving active duty in 2007. Following his education from the Air Force, Sembroski earned a B.S. in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,” Inspiration4 announced,” In his career, Sembroski has sought innovative, industry-disrupting methods to monitor and maintain mechanical equipment, making everything from data centers to hospitals more efficient. He now resides in Seattle, WA, and works in the aerospace industry.” Sembroski was also a U.S. Space Camp counselor, who educated the youth with STEM-based education. He will serve as Inspiration4 mission specialist. “Joining the Inspiration4 crew and its mission of support for St. Jude is truly a dream come true. It is my hope that this flight will inspire others to pay that generosity forward by pledging their support for St. Jude and encouraging kids to dream the impossible, ushering in a new era of space exploration open to all,” Sembroski stated.
The crewmember who will represent Prosperity during the Inspiration4 mission is Dr. Sian Proctor, who won a seat by participating in the Shift4Shop e-commerce website video contest. She “is a geoscientist, explorer, and science communication specialist with a lifelong passion for space exploration. She was born in Guam while her father was working at the NASA tracking station during the Apollo missions and has carried on his dedication and interest in space,” Inspiration4 shared. Dr. Proctor has a B.S. in Environmental Science, an M.S. in Geology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education. For 20 years she has worked as a geoscience professor at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, and is currently working as the Open Educational Resource Coordinator for the Maricopa Community College District. She aspired to become an astronaut and was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program. However, she has not been to space yet, but now her life-long dream will finally come true as a member of Inspiration4. You can watch her Inspiration4 Contest video entry in the Tweet linked below.
Hello everyone, thank you for supporting my #SpaceArt & #Poetry journey. I hope you’ll check out my @Shift4Shop: https://t.co/pUOcwAwmE1 & help share my #inspiration4contest message & #poem. Let’s unleash our #Space2inspire & create a J.E.D.I. future for all of humanity. ❤️🌍👩🏾🚀🚀 pic.twitter.com/JzRf6ayGcL— Doctor Proctor (@DrSianProctor) February 26, 2021
The Inspiration4 quartet will discuss their upcoming mission during a broadcast scheduled for today at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, video below.
Featured Image Source: Inspiration4
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.