SpaceX’s All-Civilian Inspiration4 Crew Earned Their Astronaut Wings After Historic Voyage

Evelyn Arevalo by Evelyn Arevalo October 03, 2021

SpaceX’s All-Civilian Inspiration4 Crew Earned Their Astronaut Wings After Historic Voyage

SpaceX’s all-civilian Inspiration4 crew earned their astronaut wings after their historic voyage. The Inspiration4 mission was commanded by Jared Isaacman, founder of Shift4 Payments who invited Medical Officer Hayley Arceneaux on the space adventure. She is a 29-year-old physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and pediatric cancer survivor. They used the space trip to fundraise for St. Jude and also conduct science research. Geoscientist Dr. Sian Proctor joined them, she served as the Dragon spacecraft pilot; alongside Chris Sembroski, who an Air Force veteran and aerospace data engineer. The crew surpassed their fundraising objective and have donated over $210 million to the children’s hospital.

 

 

Their spaceflight was the world’s first civilian mission to orbit the Earth for three days along a customized flight path, into a 585-kilometer altitude which is higher than the International Space Station (ISS) and the Hubble Space Telescope. They safely splashed down off the coast of Florida on Saturday, September 18, 2021.

 

This week, SpaceX gave the crew an astronaut wings pin to commemorate their accomplishment. Similar to how aircraft pilots and the military receive a wings pin to wear next to their badge, in spaceflight it is also a tradition to award a celebratory pin to symbolize the accomplishment after they complete training and perform a successful flight to space. “Yesterday we were presented with our SpaceX astronaut wings,” Inspiration4 astronaut Hayley Arceneaux, the mission's medical officer, shared via Twitter on Saturday, October 2. “This beautiful symbol of our journey means everything to me! Also if it looks like I'm crying, mind your business.”

 

SpaceX surprised the crew with a uniquely beautiful pin design, depicting a Dragon spacecraft with a mythical dragon creature expanding its wings – mimicking the design of traditional pilot wings. The back of the silver pin is inscribed with a number ‘4’, name, call sign, and mission role (pictured above). The company gave the Inspiration4 crew the wings after a private presentation during which they shared their spaceflight experience with SpaceX employees at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. “I cried when I got my wings!” Dr. Proctor shared.

“It was great to see all our SpaceX friends and thank them for making this mission a success,” Isaacman said. The crew’s historic voyage was documented by TIME and is now a five episode Netflix documentary series called – Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space. “Until we meet again, thank you to all the amazing people at SpaceX who have done so much for me and Inspiration4 [crew]. And most of all, thanks to my beautiful wife Erin who gave so much to support this dream on a most incredible journey,” Sembroski said.

 

 



Featured Image Source: SpaceX Inspiration4 via Twitter





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