By: Julia Ordaz
Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, sent four non-astronauts into orbit for three days in an effort to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The flight launched Wednesday, September 15, 2021, and returned to earth on Saturday, September 18, 2021. The mission, called Inspiration4, raised $160 million in those three days.
The pilot commanding the mission was billionaire Jared Isaacman, who purchased the four seats for $220 million. The other passengers aboard the ship were Sian Proctor, an artist director, Chris Sembroski, an aerospace engineer, and Hayley Arceneaux, a St. Jude bone cancer survivor.
Proctor is the fourth black woman to fly into space, while Arceneaux is the youngest American. In the People magazine, Arceneaux wrote that she wanted to go into orbit “…with the memories of all my friends that didn’t make it through cancer, all the kids who are in the battle right now, and all the other survivors.”
The flight made history as the first all-civilian crew to be launched into space. After launching, the ship reached orbit in just 12 minutes. The crew was stationed 363 miles away from earth, and 240 miles past the International Space Station, further than any civilians have ever gone.