SpaceX has been making history over-and-over again. The company became the first civilian-owned aerospace and space transportation firm to fulfill a government contract, something that it will continue to do for at least the near future. After the successful launches of the Falcon 9 rocket and the Resilience’s aforementioned trip to the International Space Station, the firm looks to make history once again with the SpaceX civilian mission on its Falcon9 Rocket and Dragon spacecraft dubbed the Inspiration4.
This will be the first space flight with a crew made up entirely of civilians, a feat that will show off the company’s remote flight and AI technologies. As of right now, only one of the mission’s four passengers is set in stone. Jared Isaacman, the CEO of the payment processing company Shift4 Payments, has purchased all four seats for the space flight but is offering the general public a chance to get on the mission.
In a philanthropic endeavor, Isaacman is partnering with St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for one of the giveaways. You do not need to donate to St Jude’s to submit an entry for the contest, but a $10 donation results in 100 entries and a $50 donation results in 500.
On the contest’s website, Inspiration4 describes the symbolism behind its name and the various methods by which the passengers will have earned their seat, “Inspiration4 will have a four-person crew symbolizing the best of humanity. Skilled pilot and adventurer Jared Isaacman, representing Leadership, will be joined by three travelers personifying Hope, Prosperity and Generosity…which could be you. Your donation to St. Jude means you could be the representative for Generosity on this space flight.”
Prosperity will be represented by another contest that Isaacman is launching. This campaign is run by Shift4 Payments and will go to an entrepreneur who starts an online shop using the platform. That individual will then need to share their entrepreneurial story on Twitter before a celebrity panel chooses the winner. The winner is expected to be announced in March.
Hope will be represented by an individual who is chosen specifically rather than a contest winner. That individual will be a “St. Jude ambassador with direct ties to the mission who exemplifies the pillar of Hope as well as the courageous vision upon which St. Jude was founded.”
The Inspiration4 space flight is going to be another historic moment in space travel and the symbolism and philanthropy tied to it are heartwarming.