SpaceX launched the all-civilian Inspiration4 crew to orbit the Earth for three days aboard Crew Dragon on September 15. The historic Inspiration4 mission launched 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. They cruised around our planet along a customized flight path at a max altitude of 585-kilometers above Earth, which is higher than the International Space Station, and the highest any human has been to since astronauts last serviced the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009.
Look at our Mission Specialist @ChrisSembroski capturing pictures from orbit through Dragon’s cupola!— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) September 18, 2021
We can’t wait to see the crew’s photos and how they will inspire the world to look up to the stars. pic.twitter.com/r7jIFb50rT
The Inspiration4 crew’s goal was to use their space tour to raise awareness for St. Jude and fundraise a total of $200 million. Isaacman donated $100 million to the hospital and paid SpaceX four the spaceflight. When the crew returned safely from space on Saturday evening, they achieved fundraising a total of around $160 million dollars – a portion of the sum was donated by individuals from the general public who have been supporting the space fundraiser campaign since March. The crew plans to use their newfound fame to continue fundraise for the hospital that provides free of charge life-saving medical treatment for all children battling a life-threatening illness.
SpaceX Completes World’s First All-Civilian Spaceflight To Orbit The Earth, Inspiration4 Crew Returns From Space!https://t.co/vxMs71P1U8— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) September 19, 2021
A couple of hours after the Inspiration4 space travelers splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, SpaceX founder Elon Musk pledged to donate $50 million to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help the Inspirtation4 Crew reach their $200 million fundraising goal. “Count me in for $50M[illion],” Musk said. His donation increased the fundraising amount to a bit over $210 million.
Count me in for $50M— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 19, 2021
Musk’s donation announcement came as a surprise to the crew who thanked him via social media posts. “This brings tears to my eyes. Thank you Elon Musk for this generous donation toward our $200 million dollar fundraising goal for StJude!!!” Inspiration4 crewmember Arceneaux said. She served as Inspiration4 medical officer and represents ‘Hope’ for this historic spaceflight. Arceneaux survived childhood bone cancer and received treatment at St. Jude that saved her life. Now, she works as a physician assistant at the hospital and made history as the youngest American to ever visit space at just 29 years old, and the first to fly to space with a prosthetic in her leg. "We loved space but it’s great to be home! 🌎 Incredible news on Elon Musk's donation and surpassing the 200m goal for @StJude. Let’s keep it going! 🚀 On behalf of Inspiration4 - thank you all for the support and thanks to SpaceX for bringing us home safe! Keep changing the 🌎 [world]," Isaacman wrote in a Twitter post.
We loved space but it’s great to be home! 🌎 Incredible news on @elonmusk donation and surpassing the 200m goal for @StJude. Let’s keep it going! 🚀 On behalf of @inspiration4x - thank you all for the support and thanks to @SpaceX for bringing us home safe! Keep changing the 🌎— Jared Isaacman (@rookisaacman) September 19, 2021
All Featured Images Source: SpaceX & Inspiration4 via Twitter