After months of advertising, an NFT auction, and even a Netflix docu series, it’s finally here: Inspiration4’s crew of four will be heading to space.
What makes this launch different from any that came before it? None of the four people on board is an astronaut. The mission marks the first time that a fully civilian crew will fly into space. Let’s meet them:
- Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old billionaire whose fortune comes from payment processor Shift4 Payments, which went public in the summer of last year. He is the mission commander.
- Sian Procter, community college professor with a doctorate in science education. Procter was among the 47 finalists chosen by NASA for an astronaut class in 2009, although she was not among the nine ultimately chosen to join the agency. She will be the pilot of Inspiration4, the first black woman to pilot a spaceship. She is 51 years old.
- Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old medical assistant at St. Jude’s Research Hospital and a childhood cancer survivor. She will be the crew’s health officer.
- Christopher Sembroski, data engineer for Lockheed Martin, also a former camp counselor at none other than Space Camp. The 42-year-old will act as a mission specialist.
The crew will sail into orbit inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which will be launched from a Falcon 9 rocket. They will spend three days flying around Earth before diving into the Atlantic Ocean offshore. off the coast of Florida.
SpaceX’s Youtube channel hosts a live launch webcast starting at 3:45 p.m. EST, with the five-hour launch window opening at 8:02 p.m. EST. On Sunday, Inspiration4 said weather conditions at Kennedy Space Center appeared 70% favorable. There is also a launch backup window that opens at the same time the next day.