Start of “Inspiration4”: charter flight into orbit

Status: 15.09.2021 4:04 p.m.

“Inspiration4”, a purely tourist flight into orbit, is scheduled to start the coming night. The commander, billionaire Isaacman, is already describing the multi-day mission as historic.

By Arthur Landwehr, ARD-Studio Washington

For Time and Netflix, this journey of four civilians into space is important enough to make a six-part film out of it. The message is: The way to the stars will be opened for everyone. And so the man who finances the first purely tourist trip into orbit doesn’t skimp on superlatives: billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder of the Shift4 payment system. “The story will capture ‘Inspiration4’ as a pivotal moment in space travel – an important step for humanity to find its calling in space,” he said.

“Inspiration4” is the name of this charter flight in a “Crew Dragon” spaceship from SpaceX – the same vehicle with which astronauts are flown to the International Space Station. For three days it goes around the earth at an altitude of around 500 kilometers.

“Leader, Hope, Prosperity, and Generosity”

He brought together four people who inspire in different ways, says Isaacman. “We promised a crew that represented the best human qualities: leadership, hope, wealth and generosity.”

“We have promised a crew that represents the best human qualities” – Commander Jared Isaacman.

Image: AFP

Executive – that’s Isaacman himself, the commander on board. Hope this is 29 year old medical assistant Hayley Arceneaux. She works in a research hospital for children with cancer and survived cancer as a child. “I’m sure my journey through cancer treatment prepared me for this,” she says. “Cancer made me strong, I feel ready for space.” One of the goals of the trip is to raise money for this hospital and cancer research. The goal is 200 million dollars.

Chris Sembroski won his seat with a donation ticket. The engineer and former Air Force soldier with Iraq experience represents generosity. “I want to get the message across and inspire more people to share their talents and be kind,” he says.

Start after half a year of training

And finally Sian Proctor. The professor of geology always wanted to go into space. In NASA’s selection of astronauts, she narrowly failed. She has hosted science programs on television. It owes its place in the capsule to the concept for an online business that uses Isaacman’s payment system. It stands for success and prosperity. She is also the pilot of this flight, even if most of the journey is done on autopilot. Space travel is in their DNA, says Proctor. Her father was an air traffic controller for the Apollo 11 flight to the moon.

The Inspiration4 crew: Sian Proctor, Chris Sembroski, Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux (from left to right)

Image: AP

The “Inspiration4” crew has been training for six months to prepare. Scientific experiments should be carried out along the way. Above all, it’s about arousing public interest. To raise money for cancer research and to promote commercial space travel.

Inspiration 4 – first tourist flight into orbit starts today

Arthur Landwehr, ARD Washington, September 15, 2021 9:06 am

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