It’s been an amazing out-of-this-world adventure for SpaceX's Inspiration4 crew these past couple of days. On Friday night, the all-civilian private crew provided a live update to SpaceX Mission Control that was livestreamed. During the live update the Inspiration4 crew discussed some of the things they have enjoyed doing in microgravity aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft. They also rang the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Inspiration4 Commander Jared Isaacman is the founder of Shift4 Payments which is listed as – FOUR – in the stock market. [Watch SpaceX Inspiration4 Crew In-Flight Update Video linked at the end of this story.]
Inspiring conversation with @Shift4Payments CEO @rookisaacman and the whole @inspiration4x crew in their goal to raise $200m for @StJude and the fight against childhood cancer from aboard the @SpaceX Dragon capsule 🚀 #Inspiration4 pic.twitter.com/Pjnw3jbEnt— NYSE 🏛 (@NYSE) September 18, 2021
Isaacman paid for the private spaceflight and decided to make his space adventure a massive fundraising effort of $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and invited Hayley Arceneaux along for the once-in-a-lifetime experience – she is a former patient who is now a physician assistant at the hospital. Arceneaux sent an inspiring video message to the kids at St. Jude and the crew hosted a Live question and answer session with some of the patients. She showed off an incredible view of Earth from the spacecraft’s cupola window. “We have been spending so much time in his cupola,” Arceneaux said. “This is the largest window ever flown in space. We can put our head in and fit multiple crew members in, and see the entire perimeter of the Earth, which is such an incredible perspective… And the views, I have to say, are out of this world.”
In what appears to be an odd plot twist, Inspiration4 mission representatives shared that the crew even got the chance to talk to Hollywood actor Tom Cruise while orbiting Earth through a voice call. Cruise will soon join SpaceX’s manifest of civilian space travelers, he booked a flight to film a movie at the International Space Station sometime in 2022. Mission representatives shared via social media that the crew briefly conversed with Cruise about their experience traveling aboard SpaceX’s spacecraft. No audio about their conversation has been released yet. We will probably see more things the crew experienced in space through their Netflix series called – Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space.
During the broadcast Inspiration4 crewmember Pilot Geoscience Professor Dr. Sian Proctor shared her art and talked about how inspired she feels in space. “Every time we go into darkness we get his amazing view. Oh, that looks like the aurora! Oh wow!” Proctor said with excitement as she looked out of Dragon’s cupola window. She won the space tour through a Shift4Shop contest that looked for inspiring entrepreneurs.
Air Force Veteran/Lockheed Martin engineer and Inspiration4 Mission Specialist Chris Sembroski showed his ukulele playing skills in microgravity. The art Dr. Proctor creates and the ukulele instrument Sembroski played in space will be auctioned to fundraise for St. Jude. “Because we’re trying to open the frontier to more people and open up space to more humans, we’re going to be bringing more of our humanities with us, along with art and music,” Sembroski said.
Arceneaux is the mission’s medical chief, discussed some of the science research she is performing in microgravity environment. “It’s been really interesting to see how fluid shifts with this microgravity environment, and that’s something that scientists are looking at, so we are happy to contribute with that,” she said. “We’ve also been taking several swabs of different parts of our bodies to evaluate the microbiome, and how that changes in these three days in space.”
“We know how fortunate we are to be up here,” Isaacman said. “We’re giving all of our time right now to science research and some ukulele playing, and trying to raise some good awareness for an important cause for us back on Earth.” Watch the 20-minute broadcast of SpaceX discussing the mission and the crew in orbit linked below, courtesy of SpaceX.
Orbital moonrise pic.twitter.com/vrx8Jzeu1t— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 18, 2021
The all-civilian crew is full of joy and smiles. They are scheduled to return this evening after around three days orbiting our planet. “We’re cruising right now at 580 kilometers above Earth, going about 7.6 kilometers per second, so we’re really booking,” Isaacman said during Friday afternoon’s live broadcast. This is the highest altitude any human has been to since astronauts last visited the moon. SpaceX later announced that the spacecraft started to lower its altitude to bring back the crew on Saturday evening. They will splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Canaveral, Florida at 7:06 p.m. EDT. SpaceX said the crew already suited-up to reenter Earth’s atmosphere.
After three days on-orbit, Dragon and the @inspiration4x crew will return to Earth today and splash down at ~7:06 p.m. EDT in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK pic.twitter.com/uhfnCNLmLN— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 18, 2021
VIDEO: SpaceX Inspiration4 Crew In-Flight Update
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Inspiration4 Broadcast