SpaceX commercial space flight: First civilian crew to be sent to space announced

Elon Musk discusses future of SpaceX's Starship system

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Inspiration4, which will see the first commercial crew to ever be flown into space, has announced who will take up the remaining seats on the rocket. Billionaire Jared Isaacman bought all four seats on board the mission and dedicated it to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Mr Isaacman donated the seats to members of the public, with Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a childhood cancer survivor and physician assistant at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, being one of the lucky few.

Today it was announced that Chris Sembroski, 41, an Air Force veteran, and 51-year old Dr Sian Proctor, an entrepreneur who is also a trained pilot, will also be on board.

According to Inspiration4, the remaining members represent prosperity and generosity.

Inspiration4 said on its website: “Prosperity – Dr Proctor, a 51-year-old entrepreneur, educator, trained pilot and active voice in the space exploration community, was awarded her seat by being selected as the top entrant of an independently judged online business competition that attracted approximately 200 entries and was conducted by the eCommerce platform Shift4Shop.”

It added: “Generosity – Sembroski, a 41-year-old aerospace industry employee at Lockheed Martin and United States Air Force veteran, contributed to a special fundraising campaign for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital that offered an Inspiration4 seat to a lucky donor after receiving nearly 72,000 entries.

“Since it was first announced in February, the campaign has raised approximately $113M “

Dr Proctor said: “This opportunity is proof that hard work and perseverance can pay off in unimaginable ways.

“I have always believed that I was preparing for something special, and that moment has arrived with Inspiration4.”

Mr Sembroski added: “Although I’ve been fortunate to have spent years in the aerospace industry, I never imagined having the opportunity to reach the stars, especially through something as simple as supporting St Jude.

“I am honoured to occupy the Generosity seat and look forward to using this platform to encourage everyone to be generous to others in whatever ways they are able.”

The launch is being targeted for no earlier than September 15, 2021, and all members will have to undergo astronaut training.

The mission will see four members of the public be shot into space.

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Once the individuals, of which there can be four per journey, are in space, they will orbit Earth over a “multi-day journey”.

They will launch on board a Falcon 9 rocket before separating in space on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.

When in space, the craft will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, giving the ordinary person a chance to see views which have so far been limited to a few selected astronauts.

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