SpaceX left the world in awe when it launched the world’s first all-civilian crew on a three-day journey around Earth aboard the Crew Dragon Resiliencespacecraft. The crew of four, Inspiration4, launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad-39A on Wednesday night [September 15]. The Inspiration4 crew is comprised of non-professional astronauts: Shift4Payments founder Jared Isaacman, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Physician Assistant Hayley Arceneaux, Geoscience Professor Dr. Sian Proctor, and Air Force veteran Lockheed Martin Engineer Chris Sembroski.
During their first day in space the crew was flying at an altitude of 585-kilometers, which is higher than any human has traveled to since NASA launched astronauts to the Moon nearly 50 years ago. They revolved around Earth at approximately 17,500 (miles per hour) above the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope. SpaceX released photographs of the crew enjoying the once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
They spent their first day in orbit enjoying beautiful views of our planet and floating in zero gravity inside of Crew Dragon, they also spoke St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patients through a Live video call. The Inspiration4 crew's goal is to inspire the kids and fundraise a total of $200 million for the hospital that provides life-saving treatment. Inspiration4 Commander Isaacman, who paid SpaceX for the space tour, already donated $100 million to the hospital and he hopes the public can support the cause. “We do firmly believe that there is going to be a world, 50 or 100 years from now, where people are going to be jumping in their rockets like the Jetsons, and you're going to have families bouncing around on the moon with their kids at a lunar base,” Isaacman said, “If we can accomplish all of that… we sure as heck better tackle childhood cancer along the way.”
The crew of #Inspiration4 had an incredible first day in space! They’ve completed more than 15 orbits around planet Earth since liftoff and made full use of the Dragon cupola. pic.twitter.com/StK4BTWSA6— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) September 17, 2021
The crew answered questions from St. Jude patients while orbiting Earth on Thursday, September 16. The kids that had the opportunity to interview the crew range from ages 6 to 15 years old. They asked some of the best questions, including ‘What is your favorite space food?’ and ‘Is there such thing as aliens in space?’ The crew answered the children’s questions as a puppy plush toy floated in zero-gravity. You can watch their cute question & answer session in the video linked below. If you would like to support St. Jude you can order a dog plush toy through their official website or make a donation via: Inspiration4.com/donate
Receive restocking alerts on the @StJude Inspiration4 zero-gravity indicator: https://t.co/1rQN42BHs9 🐶— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) September 18, 2021
In the meantime, you can donate directly to support our $200 million fundraising initiative: https://t.co/NBUL2e3f4x pic.twitter.com/BWbklRwrSD
Arceneaux, knows firsthand what it is to fight to survive cancer. She had pediatric bone cancer and received life-saving treatment at St. Jude. Now, Arceneaux is making history at 29 years old as the youngest American woman to ever launch to space and the first space traveler to have a prosthetic on her left leg – proving that the sky is not the limit to all the children. Arceneaux is also conducting some science research in microgravity that will provide valuable data about how spaceflight affects the human body. The Inspiration4 crew is scheduled to return to Earth on Saturday, September 18, SpaceX targets to splashdown at 7:06 p.m. EDT in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
VIDEO: St. Jude Patients Question & Answer Session With The Inspiration4 Crew
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Inspiration4 Broadcast