The Inspiration4 crew successfully splashed down in the Atlantic following their nearly three days orbiting the Earth. In a great conclusion to the mission, Elon Musk shared that he would be donating $50 million dollars to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital—pushing the fundraising campaign past its $200 million goal.
Inspiration4 crew to inspire humanity
Inspiration4 took flight on Wednesday evening, launching four civilians into space. The mission was started by Jared Isaacman, founder of Shift4 Payments. He wanted this first all-civilian mission into orbit to have a greater purpose than just tourism—he wanted to make a difference for generations to come. That is why he chose to use the mission to raise money for St. Jude. He started with a $100 million dollar donation of his own and hoped to raise another $100 million.
Beyond just fundraising, the crew was selected to be able to inspire those around the globe. Jared, as the commander of the mission, represents Leadership. Hayley Arceneaux was the first crewmate chosen. A former patient a St. Jude, she fought cancer as a child. She since moved on to work as a Physicians Assistant at the very place that saved her life. She represents hope, and took on the role of Medical Officer.
The next crewmember chosen was Dr. Sian Proctor. She entered an entrepreneurial competition in order to win the seat of Prosperity. She is also only the fourth ever Black female Astronaut from the United States and filled the role of Pilot. The final seat, of Generosity, is filled by Chris Sembroski. He won the seat at random by donating to St. Jude and is a mission specialist. The four crew members represent important pillars of humanity, and have used their time in space to perform research and outreach.
Elon Musk donating to St. Jude
The crew of Inspiration4 splashed down off the coast of Cape Canaveral this evening. Despite raising money through the initial sweepstakes, donations during the live streams, and an auction, they were still about $43 million short of their goal. Thankfully SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who had previously remained silent on the subject of donations, replied to their welcome home tweet saying “Count me in for $50M.” This puts Inspiration4 several million beyond their $200 million fundraising goal for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The money will be used to help kids with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Check out St. Jude’s website to learn how you can help.