On 15th September 2021, SpaceX made history by sending a team of regular individuals on a trip around the Earth. As a bonus, the spacecraft landed on its drone vessel, completing the 92nd rocket retrieval for the organization. The Inspiration4 mission lifted off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:02 p.m. EDT, the beginning of a five-hour timeframe. A four-person team was harnessed into a Crew Dragon spaceship sitting atop a 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket. “Few have gone before, and more are going to follow,” Inspiration4 Cmdr. Jared Issacman stated from the Crew Dragon spaceship, referencing to civilians in space. “The door has now been opened, and it’s very fantastic.”
Forecasters at the US Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron projected an 80 percent probability of excellent weather conditions ahead of this momentous flight. The Falcon 9 ascended into the stratosphere making a cloud of fire and smoke. The rumbling of its motors triggered vehicle alarms in the observation deck. Ten months ago, Isaacman stated that he would launch a new form of the rocket that would not use trained astronauts but would instead transport private citizens into space. To distinguish his objective from those of the other billionaires heading to space, Isaacman chose to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with the help of this mission.
Isaacman pledged a USD 100 Mn towards the hospital to win a trip aboard the Dragon spacecraft from SpaceX. He was well aware that he would be using those tickets to fulfill his set goals of encouraging mankind while generating funds for children’s cancer treatment. He stated that the first seat will be given to a frontline worker. Hayley Arceneaux would be that fortunate individual; she is a cancer survivor and former St. Jude patient, and also a physician’s assistant serving the institution that saved her life. She is the youngest American to visit space and the first in the world to do it while wearing a prosthetic. The second ticket was sold at an auction that garnered $13 million for St. Jude alone. The recipient of this spot was selected from a pool of contributors and was featured in a 30-second commercial that ran during this year’s Superbowl. Chris Sembroski was the eventual winner, and while he didn’t legally win, one of his buddies did, and they handed him the ticket.
The last seat was up for grabs as part of a shark tank-style competition in which businessmen from across the nation could create a shop that would raise funds for St. Jude. Applicants would submit promotional films of their businesses, and one winner would be picked to fly aboard the mission. Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and lecturer at Southern Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona, was eventually chosen as the finalist for her attempts to market her poems and art. The crew believes that their journey would inspire individuals all around the globe to never give up on their dreams of aiming for the skies.
This is a lifelong goal coming true for one member of the crew in particular. Proctor, whose dad worked for NASA on the Apollo moon mission, has always wished to be an astronaut. In 1999, she was a candidate in NASA’s astronaut selection procedure however was subsequently rejected. She is fulfilling her dream more than 10 years later. The mission is also a venture into what SpaceX believes will be a new phase of space exploration, one in which everyday individuals, such as the Inspiration4 crew, will one day be able to fly to space.