We’ve taken a look at the billionaire space race this summer, which was spread across every major news outlet around, when Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson went to “space” in vehicles built by their companies. Another billionaire space mission that has gone mostly unnoticed is that of Jared Isaacman, and his Inspiration 4 mission to space.
But where was that other space company?
While Elon Musk was in attendance for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight, he of course has nothing to do with the Blue Origin flight which is to be expected (There’s been a bit of a rivalry between SpaceX and Blue Origin for just about ever). Some reports even say Elon Musk bought a ticket for a future Virgin Galactic flight.
SpaceX has successfully launched missions with people on board to not only orbit the earth, but to bring crews to the International Space Station (ISS) as well. SpaceX was the first to launch to space from the United States since the shuttle program ended. They are also working on a new ship called Starship which aims to go to Mars at some point and makes Falcon 9 look like a birthday candle.
While Elon Musk isn’t going to space this summer, Space X defiantly has its own entry to the billionaire space race in the form of Inspiration 4, and no one can argue if they are going to be in space or not.
What is Inspiration 4?
Inspiration 4 is an all civilian space mission funded by Jared Isaacman, via the Space X Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule. What’s even more special is the crew is made of non-astronauts. The Falcon 9 got its name from the fact that it is powered by 9 Merlin engines.
The mission will orbit the Earth for 3 days, above the altitude of the ISS This is especially notable because it pushes the Dragon capsule to its limits. The dragon capsule will also be equipped with payloads for microgravity research and experiments.
Since we’re talking about orbiting above the ISS, I don’t think anyone can argue if Jared and his crew are going to space or not, or if they are astronauts.
More than a Space Mission
Beyond of course, heading to space and orbiting the earth, Inspiration 4 has an even bigger mission, to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The goal of this mission is to raise 200 million dollars for St. Jude, and Jared kicked it off with a 100 million personal donation to the hospital.
Since people like to complain that billionaires shouldn’t waste their money on space, Jared has taken things to the next level with raising money to fight childhood cancer.
In fact, one of the crew members of Inspiration 4 is Hayley Arceneaux, who is a childhood cancer survivor. Hayley was diagnosed at 10 years old, and treated at St. Jude, where she now works at a Physician Assistant.
Inspiration 4 Crew members
Besides Jared Isaacman, there are three other heading to space. First is Hayley, followed by Dr. Sian Proctor who won her seat as part of an entrepreneurial contest, and Chris Sembroski who won his seat by donating to St. Jude as part of the fundraising campaign.
The crewmembers were trained by Space X, and their incredible journey to space is documented by Netflix.
You can make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital here, and help the Inspiration 4 crew complete their mission.
The mission is currently set to launch on September 15, 2021 at 8:02 PM.