Central Florida residents made history tonight, with the launch of an all-civilian crew aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon.
The four members of the Inspiration4 mission are part of the Crew Dragon’s fourth journey into space with humans on board. The first three missions carried astronauts to the International Space Station, and this would be the first mission in history to be conducted without any government scientists, engineers, or professional space crew.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off tonight from KSC’s Launch Pad 39-A at approximately 8 p.m. The Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron had an 80% forecast of a chance of clear skies, with minimal wind and precipitation but no show.
As much as the trip into space was a dream come true for him, Jared Isakman, the generous 38-year-old billionaire who paid the bill for the flight, said he also wanted to share that dream with others, not just “hunting his buddies” from his wealthy social and professional circles. , offering one seat to Healy Arsenault, a childhood cancer survivor who now works at the hospital where she was treated, and another to Air Force veteran Chris Simbrosk, one of thousands who have donated to the fundraiser for that hospital.
The billionaire held the last position to a college professor named Sian Proctor.
We understand the importance of this mission. “We understand how lucky and loving we are,” Isaacman said. “We’re trying to be very thoughtful about our approach to this, and hopefully to set a standard for other missions to follow, and that in our minds has a lot to do with the responsibilities we have here on Earth as well as what we hope will be accomplished in space.”
Isakman set the mission to both improve human life on the planet and make gains in space exploration, raising $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, and molding his staff around what he calls the four pillars of inspiration: leadership, hope, generosity, and prosperity.