Jared Isaacman, founder and chief executive of Shift4 Payments, booked a voyage to space aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. The 37-year-old is turning his space voyage into a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital that provides free treatment to cancer patients. Isaacman donated $100 Million to St. Jude and is offering the general public the opportunity to participate in a fundraising raffle to win a seat to go on a space adventure with him. The mission is called ‘Inspiration4’, it will be an all-civilian space flight –“It will be the first-ever all-private crewed orbital mission in history,” the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk said during a telephone conference with reporters this week. Each Inspiration4 crewmember will represent the best traits of humanity: Leadership, Hope, Generosity, and Prosperity. Isaacman will represent ‘Leadership’ as a skilled pilot and mission commander. He discusses the mission in the video below.
Curing childhood cancer and traveling to outer space have both been called impossible dreams. But for tech entrepreneur @rookisaacman, dreams are meant to be realized. Meet the man responsible for launching @inspiration4x. #Inspiration4StJude https://t.co/OdqKEpmfYY pic.twitter.com/HRIHl7lxfv— St. Jude (@StJude) February 2, 2021
The ‘Generosity’ seat will be raffled off to someone who donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. To potentially win a seat to liftoff atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket aboard Dragon, the public can donate to St. Jude’s via Inspiration4.com website. Only United States citizens over 18 years old can participate in the fundraising raffle. The requirements are to be less than 6 feet 6 inches in height, weigh less than 250 pounds and pass psychological and physical tests. “If you can go on a roller coaster ride, like an intense roller coaster ride, you should be fine for flying on Dragon,” Musk said. Today, the Inspiration4 project released an inspiring video that will air as an advertisement during the Super Bowl football game to fundraise, shown below.
“I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission, and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth,” Isaacson stated. The seat representing ‘Hope’ is reserved for a St. Jude’s ambassador who survived childhood cancer and now works at the hospital. Isaacman shared that the employee is a woman –“and I know she's looking forward to the launch as much as me,” he said during the teleconference. The ‘Prosperity’ seat is offered to a Shift4 Payments user “who utilizes the new Shift4Shop eCommerce platform, which empowers entrepreneurs to build and grow successful eCommerce businesses online,” the company said in a statement. The Inspiration4 crew will be announced on February 28. SpaceX will train the civilians like astronauts to launch them to space in Autumn this year. During the voyage, the Dragon spacecraft will orbit Earth once every 90 minutes as the crew enjoys stunning views of our planet. Musk said the trip could be 2 to 3 days long.
“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.” Inspiration4 “is an important milestone towards enabling access to space for everyone. At first, things are very expensive and it's only through missions like this that we are able to bring the costs down over time and make space accessible to all,” Musk stated. Isaacson and Musk also discussed the Inspiration4 Mission during a CNBC news interview, video linked below.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
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.