SpaceX's first all-civilian crew includes a physician assistant, teacher and US Air Force veteran


Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian space mission, announced winners of the two remaining seats of the four-person crew that will launch into orbit later this year.    

The new passengers include Sian Proctor, a community college educator in Tempe, Arizona, and Chris Sembroski, a former Air Force missileman from Everett, Washington.

They will join flight billionaire Jared Isaacman, who purchased the flight, and Hayley Arceneaux, a a physician assistant at St. Jude’s Hospital, who was revealed as a winner earlier this year.

The team, which will be under the command of Isaacman, will fly aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on a historic voyage to the stars this autumn.

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Jared Isaacman, from left to right, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski are part of the Inspiration4 crew that is the first all-civilian space flight

Jared Isaacman, from left to right, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski are part of the Inspiration4 crew that is the first all-civilian space flight

Isaacman is head of Shift4 Payments, a credit card-processing company in Pennsylvania, and is paying for what would be SpaceX’s first private flight while raising money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

The goal is to raise $200 million for the hospital, half of which is coming from Isaacman’s own pocket – independent donors have given a total of $13 million since February.

The SpaceX Dragon capsule will launch no earlier than mid-September, aiming for an altitude of 335 miles, which is 75 miles higher than the International Space Station (ISS) and on a level with the Hubble Space Telescope. 

Isaacman will pilot the craft and serve as spacecraft commander, and at the time of the first announcement he said three of the seats would go to the public.

The team, which will be under the command of Isaacman (second from left), will fly aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on a historic voyage to the stars this autumn

The team, which will be under the command of Isaacman (second from left), will fly aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on a historic voyage to the stars this autumn

Arceneaux, 29, named to the crew a month ago, is a St Jude physician’s assistant who was treated at the hospital as a child for bone cancer.

She will also become the youngest American in space and the first to make the journey with a prosthesis.

‘My battle with cancer really prepared me for space travel,’ Arceneaux said in a February interview with The Associated Press.

‘It made me tough, and then also I think it really taught me to expect the unexpected and go along for the ride.’

And Tuesday, the last remaining seats have been officially filled.

Proctor, 51, is an entrepreneur, educator, trained pilot and active voice in the space exploration community.

She was selected as the top entrant of an independently judged online business competition that attracted approximately 200 entries and was conducted by the eCommerce platform Shift4Shop.

And an independent panel of judges chose her space art website dubbed Space2inspire.

Isaacman is head of Shift4 Payments, a credit card-processing company in Pennsylvania, and is paying for what would be SpaceX's first private flight while raising money for St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis

Isaacman is head of Shift4 Payments, a credit card-processing company in Pennsylvania, and is paying for what would be SpaceX’s first private flight while raising money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis

Hayley Arceneaux, 29, named to the crew a month ago, is a St Jude physician's assistant

Hayley Arceneaux, 29, named to the crew a month ago, is a St Jude physician’s assistant

‘It was like when Harry Potter found out he was a wizard, a little bit of shock and awe,’ Proctor said last week. ‘It’s like, ‘I’m the winner?’

Proctor, who studied geology, applied three times to NASA’s astronaut corps, coming close in 2009, and took part in simulated Mars missions in Hawaii.

She was born in Guam, where her late father worked at Nasa’s tracking station for the Apollo moonshots, including Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s.

She plans to teach from space and create art up there too.

She was treated at the hospital as a child for bone cancer

She was treated at the hospital as a child for bone cancer

‘To me, everything that I’ve done… has brought me to this moment.’

The last seat was awarded to Sembroski, 41, who donated and entered the lottery but was not picked in the random drawing earlier this month — his friend was. 

His friend declined to fly for personal reasons and offered the spot to Sembroski, who worked as a Space Camp counsellor in college and volunteered for space advocacy groups.

‘Just finding out that I’m going to space was an incredible, strange, surreal event,’ he said.  

Sian Proctor, 51, is an entrepreneur, educator, trained pilot and active voice in the space exploration community. She was selected as the top entrant of an independently judged online business competition that attracted approximately 200 entries

Sian Proctor, 51, is an entrepreneur, educator, trained pilot and active voice in the space exploration community. She was selected as the top entrant of an independently judged online business competition that attracted approximately 200 entries 

'It was like when Harry Potter found out he was a wizard, a little bit of shock and awe,' Proctor said last week. 'It's like, 'I'm the winner?'

‘It was like when Harry Potter found out he was a wizard, a little bit of shock and awe,’ Proctor said last week. ‘It’s like, ‘I’m the winner?’

Sembroski will serve as the Mission Specialist and will help manage payload, science experiments, communications to mission control and more. 

The four-person expedition is planned for late this year and will take off in SpaceX’s Dragon craft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and orbit around Earth for three days.

Details of the ride in a SpaceX Dragon capsule are still being worked out, including the number of days the four will be in orbit after blasting off from Florida.

The Inspiration4 crew will not be going into space blind, but will receive commercial astronaut training by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity and other forms of stress testing before traveling into the last frontier.

‘There will be several months of training,’ Isaacman told DailyMail.com.

The last seat was awarded to Christopher Sembroski, 41, who donated and entered the lottery but was not picked in the random drawing earlier this month — his friend was

The last seat was awarded to Christopher Sembroski, 41, who donated and entered the lottery but was not picked in the random drawing earlier this month — his friend was

His friend declined to fly for personal reasons and offered the spot to Sembroski, who worked as a Space Camp counsellor in college and volunteered for space advocacy groups

His friend declined to fly for personal reasons and offered the spot to Sembroski, who worked as a Space Camp counsellor in college and volunteered for space advocacy groups

The Inspiration4 crew will not be going into space blind, but will receive commercial astronaut training by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity and other forms of stress testing before traveling into the last frontier.

The Inspiration4 crew will not be going into space blind, but will receive commercial astronaut training by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity and other forms of stress testing before traveling into the last frontier.

‘NASA has signed off on the training curriculum and the only difference [from standard astronaut training] is that we aren’t going to the International Space Station or doing a spacewalk.’

‘This means we will do simulators, emergency training and we are going to need time from mid-March to launch.’

The Inspiration4 mission will also take a payload of experiments with the crew.

‘While we are up there we are going to bring payloads and do experiments,’ Isaacman said.

‘We offered to take payloads from St. Jude’s and other places because the wait list is extremely long.’

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