Monday morning Netflix released the first two episodes of their Inspiration4 documentary series. The series will cover the crew’s journey to and from space onboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. This week we got to see the first part of their journey, the selection of the Inspiration4 crew.
Isaacman’s goal to push what was possible for Inspiration4
There wouldn’t have been a better partnership for SpaceX’s first commercial mission than Jared Issacman. The billionaire whose love for aviation and adventure somehow led him to a phone call with SpaceX completely unrelated to purchasing a seat on Dragon.
What was just an urge to “keep him in mind” for when SpaceX would be ready for commercial flights turned quickly into mission planning and visits to the company’s Hawthorne headquarters. There he met with mission managers that walked him through each part of the flight. Along the way, Issacman was pushing to see what was possible and how he could do something new to help SpaceX with their goal to get humans to Mars.
Issacman wanted the mission to be more than just another billionaire’s space trip. He wanted to use the publicity of this mission to make a difference for children battling cancer while building a crew around him that would inspire those watching for generations to come.
From St. Jude’s ‘Gratitude Administrator’ to inspiring everyone that nothing is impossible
The second crew member to be announced was St. Jude Physician Assistant Hayley Arceneaux. Not only does she play a vital role in connecting the mission to the St. Jude fundraiser but her backstory truly brings inspiration to many.
Being diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 10 would crush the dreams and morale of many, but not her. Arceneaux fought and stayed positive, going around to the blood donors thanking them for their donations. This is where St. Jude gave her the title of “Gratitude Administrator”. With the help of the team at St. Jude, and a cutting-edge operation to remove the part of the bone containing the tumor and replace it with an implant that could simulate the growth plate, she managed to beat her cancer. Arceneaux went on to return to St. Jude, this time helping other children suffering from cancer fight the disease.
Arceneaux will become the first person with a body implant to fly to space and the youngest person to reach orbit. She represents the seat of hope: which could not have been filled more perfectly.
A child of the space program to become the 4th female African-American astronaut
The daughter of an engineer working at one of NASA’s Apollo remote ground stations in Guam, Space has always played a big part in Dr. Sian Proctor’s life. Going on to graduate with a master’s in geology and a Ph.D. in science education, Proctor is a professor of geology at South Mountain Community College.
In 2009, Proctor applied to become a NASA astronaut and made the final selection but ultimately wasn’t selected to join that year’s class. After years of dreaming of going to space, Proctor was selected to join the Inspiration4 crew by submitting a video to why she should be selected and setting up a store for her artwork on Isaacman’s Shift4 platform.
Proctor represents the seat of prosperity and plans to bring her father’s signed note from Neil Armstrong with her to space.
Representing generosity and hearts of the average human
Chris Sembroski is just your average American who has been in love with space all his life. Sembroski donated to St. Jude through the Inspiration4 sweepstakes after seeing the Super Bowl ad play earlier this year.
An Air Force veteran and engineer for Lockheed Martin, Sembroski is your average person living the childhood dream of going to space. When selected for seat on the mission, he told Issacman that he was going to have to discuss it with his wife, who did not know he entered the sweepstake.
He joins the other three members to form Inspiration4, the first civilian mission to orbit. Their goal is to inspire generations to come that anything is possible. That mission blasts off next week with the launch currently scheduled for September 15th. The next chapters of Netflix’s documentary drop on the 13th and will focus on the training that has taken place over the past few months.
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