SpaceX Inspiration4 Civilian Crew Will Conduct Science Research During Their Space Tour

by Evelyn Arevalo August 30, 2021

SpaceX Inspiration4 Civilian Crew Will Conduct Science Research During Their Space Tour

A new era of human spaceflight is emerging as SpaceX prepares to launch the first all-civilian crew to space! Inspiration4, is a privately-funded space tour booked by Shift4Payments founder Jared Isaacman. The historic mission is designed to inspire the public to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research hospital. Isaacman donated $100 million to St. Jude and invited Oncology Physician Assistant Hayley Arceneaux, who survived pediatric bone cancer and received life-saving treatment at the children's hospital. She will serve as Inspiration4 medical chief and is set to make history as the youngest woman to launch to space at just 29 years, also become the first to visit space with a prosthesis in her left leg. The other crewmembers are: Geoscience Professor Dr. Sian Proctor and former Air Force member Data Engineer Chris Sembroski, who won a seat aboard Crew Dragon for participating in a St. Jude fundraiser.  

SpaceX targets to launch the Inspiration4 crew atop a Falcon 9 rocket on September 15th from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Today, August 30, project representatives announced that the Inspiration4 crew will conduct science research during their space tour. SpaceX will deploy Crew Dragon into an altitude of 575-kilometers, that is the highest any human has traveled to since NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope was last repaired in 2009. The crew will orbit Earth for three days and conduct a set of science experiments to inspire children at St. Jude and make the most of their time in microgravity. “The crew of Inspiration4 is eager to use our mission to help make a better future for those who will launch in the years and decades to come,” Isaacman said in a press release. “In all of human history, fewer than 600 humans have reached space. We are proud that our flight will help influence all those who will travel after us and look forward to seeing how this mission will help shape the beginning of a new era for space exploration,” he stated.

The crew will collaborate with SpaceX and the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine and investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine to use their time in orbit to assess their biological health in space. They will collect biological samples of the crew ‘before, during, and after this historic spaceflight’ to assess how spaceflight affects them. According to a press release, “The Inspiration4 crew will conduct the following TRISH-sponsored research: Collect research-grade ECG activity, movement, sleep, heart rate and rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, cabin noise and light intensity.” They will also log into NASA’s ‘Cognition App’ while in space, where they will do a series of online tests to assess behavioral and cognitive performance.

While in orbit, the crew will also scan their organ systems through a device called ‘Butterfly IQ+ Ultrasound’ that uses Artificial Intelligence. “Data collected will determine if non-medical experts can self-acquire clinical grade images without guidance from ground support and will provide a timeline of biological changes before and during spaceflight. This device is also currently being tested by astronauts on the International Space Station,” mission representatives wrote in a press release. SpaceX and Weill Cornell Medicine will also perform elaborate biological research, “longitudinal, multi-omic analysis,” that involves gathering samples of the crew’s genome. All the data and samples will be preserved for scientific studies, cryogenically stored at a Biobank freezer. The Inspiration4 mission will be a near real-time Netflix documentary series – Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space –You can follow the crews journey as it unfolds starting on September 6 via Netflix, watch the trailer in the video linked below! 



All Featured Images Source: Inspiration4 

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