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Artist's rendering of Resilience for Inspiration4, with its nose cone open, revealing the cupola.
Mission typeSpace tourism
COSPAR ID2021-084A
SATCAT no.49220Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration
  • 3 days (planned)
  • 15 hours, 2 minutes (in progress)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftCrew Dragon Resilience
Launch mass12,519 kg (27,600 lb)
Landing mass9,616 kg (21,200 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date16 September 2021, 00:02:56 UTC
RocketFalcon 9 Block 5 (B1062.3)
Launch siteKennedy Space Center, LC-39A
End of mission
Recovered byGO Navigator[1]
Landing date19 September 2021 (planned)
Landing siteAtlantic Ocean
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [2]
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Altitude585 km (364 mi)
Period96.2 minutes

Inspiration4 (left) and SpaceX (right) insignia

(L-R) Sembroski, Proctor, Isaacman and Arceneaux 

Inspiration4 (stylized as Inspirati④n) is an ongoing human spaceflight mission, operated by SpaceX on behalf of Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman. The mission launched on 16 September 2021, at 00:02:56 UTC [a] from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A atop a twice-flown Falcon 9 launch vehicle, injecting the Dragon capsule into low Earth orbit.

The mission aims to complete the first orbital spaceflight with only private citizens aboard, as part of an effort to raise awareness for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Four crew members; Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski, Sian Proctor, and Isaacman himself will spend three days in orbit aboard Crew Dragon Resilience, which was outfitted with a cupola unique to this flight in place of a docking hatch. The flight is in orbit at an altitude of 585 km (364 mi), a height that has not been achieved since STS-125 in 2009.

Mission and crew

Inspiration4 is the first human spaceflight to orbit Earth with only private citizens on board.[3] The mission promoted and raised money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The crew and mission intended to raise upwards of $200 million to expand St. Jude’s childhood cancer research.[4][5][6] Inspiration4 is led by Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman, an experienced pilot with qualification in military jets.[7][8] Isaacman procured the flight and its four seats from SpaceX, and donated two of the seats to St. Jude. Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at the hospital and a survivor of bone cancer, was selected by the hospital to board the flight.[9] St. Jude raffled the second seat as part of a campaign to raise US$200 million for the hospital, termed St. Jude Mission: Inspired.[10][11] An undisclosed person from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University ultimately won the raffle, but decided for personal reasons to give the seat to his friend, U.S. Air Force veteran Christopher Sembroski, who was also one of 72,000 entrants in the raffle.[12][13][14] Entrepreneur Sian Proctor was selected by Shift4 Payments to board the flight, through a competition modeled after Shark Tank that rewarded the best business idea to make use of Shift4's commerce solutions.[15] The panelists in the competition included Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Fast Company editor Stephanie Mehta, former NASA engineer Mark Rober, and Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer.[16]

All four crew members received commercial astronaut training by SpaceX, which encompassed lessons in orbital mechanics, operating in a microgravity environment, stress testing, emergency preparedness training, and mission simulations.[15][17] The mission is also being documented in a five-episode series entitled Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space, released on the subscription streaming service Netflix in September 2021.[18]

Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States Jared Isaacman[10]
First spaceflight
Pilot United States Sian Proctor[19]
First spaceflight
Chief medical officer United States Hayley Arceneaux[9]
First spaceflight
Mission specialist United States Christopher Sembroski[19]
First spaceflight


The Inspiration4 mission is using the Crew Dragon Resilience. This is the capsule's second flight, after Crew-1.[15][20] The spacecraft's docking adapter, normally used to dock with the International Space Station, was replaced for this mission by a single monolithic domed glass window inspired by the Cupola module, allowing 360° views outside Resilience's nose.[21] The cupola is protected during launch and reentry by the spacecraft's retractable nosecone, which also houses a custom camera enabling photography of the vehicle's interior and exterior during flight.[22] The cupola is removable, so that Resilience can easily be reconfigured for missions in the future that require docking, following the conclusion of Inspiration4.[22] Four Draco thrusters located on the spacecraft's nose necessitated the installation of four heat shield tiles on the cupola's exterior, which protect the glass dome from engine exhaust during reaction control maneuvers.[22]


Resilience launched on 16 September 2021[23] at 00:02:56 UTC (15 September 2021 at 20:02:56 EDT), atop Falcon 9 Block 5 booster B1062 from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A. The spacecraft was launched into a low Earth orbit with an apogee of 585 km (364 mi) making it the 5th highest apogee Earth orbit achieved by a crewed spacecraft,[b], not including the Apollo program. It has an inclination of 51.6°. Following three days in orbit, the spacecraft will splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.[24] With Resilience in orbit, three Dragon spacecraft were simultaneously orbiting Earth, as Endeavour flies the Crew-2 mission and C208 flies the CRS-23 mission. Inspiration4 is the first crewed orbital spaceflight since STS-125 in 2009 to not visit a space station.[citation needed] Each crew member was assigned an individual call sign for communications. Isaacman's call sign is "Rook", while Proctor's is "Leo", Arcenaux's is "Nova", and Sembroski's is "Hanks".[25] Jude, the Inspiration4 crew's zero-g indicator, was found floating at the end of a tether after entering Earth orbit on September 16, 2021.[26]

The mission plans to include ultrasounds, microbe samples and a variety of in-flight health experiments (measure fluid shifts, record ECG activity, blood oxygen levels, heart rates, etc) on the human bodies of ordinary citizens who have not been previously carefully screened and exhaustively trained as professional astronauts.[27] The flight plan aimed for altitudes of 575 km, and reached an altitude of 585 km. Previously this height was reached by crewed capsules of Gemini 11 in 1966 and by the Apollo program and Space Shuttle Program, and which might pose different radiation levels than those found on the International Space Station.[3] The investigation of the effects of spaceflight on human health and performance is done in collaboration with SpaceX, the Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) at Baylor College of Medicine, and investigators at Weill Cornell Medicine.[28]

See also


  1. ^ 15 September 2021, 20:02:56 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
  2. ^ 1st - Gemini 11 by 1,368 km (850 mi), 2nd - Gemini 10 by 756 km (470 mi), 3rd - STS-31 by 615 km (382 mi), 4th- STS-103 by 609 km (378 mi), 5th- Inspiration4 by 585 km (364 mi), 6th- STS-48 by 580 km (360 mi), joint 7th- STS-109 and STS-125 by 578 km (359 mi), 9th- STS-61 by 576 km (358 mi).


  1. ^ "Departure! Dragon recovery ship GO Navigator is outbound from Port Canaveral and heading to the Gulf of Mexico to support the Inspiration4 mission". Twitter.
  2. ^ Inspiration4 (30 March 2021). Meet The First All-Civilian Space Crew | Inspiration4 Livestream. Retrieved 30 March 2021 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ a b Davenport, Christian (13 September 2021). "They "could be our neighbors", and they're going to space. SpaceX gets ready to fly the Inspiration4 crew". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 13 September 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  4. ^ Davenport, Christian (25 February 2021). "As private companies erode government's hold on space travel, NASA looks to open a new frontier". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  5. ^ Chow, Denise (1 February 2021). "SpaceX announces first mission to space with all-civilian crew". NBC News. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  6. ^ Burghardt, Thomas (1 February 2021). "SpaceX announces Inspiration4, all-civilian space mission in support of St Jude's Hospital". Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  7. ^ Segran, Elizabeth (13 April 2015). "Meet The Fighter-Jet-Flying 32-Year-Old On Top Of The Payments Industry". Fast Company. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  8. ^ Tognini, Giacomo (7 October 2020). "Meet The New Billionaire Who Dropped Out of High School and Flies Fighter Jets for Fun". Forbes. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  9. ^ a b Dunn, Marcia (22 February 2021). "Bone cancer survivor to join billionaire on SpaceX flight". AP NEWS. Archived from the original on 22 February 2021. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  10. ^ a b Leinfelder, Andrea (1 February 2021). "SpaceX, tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman invite the public to apply for ride into space". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  11. ^ "New fundraising challenge tied to Inspiration4 launches today for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital" (Press release). St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 1 March 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  12. ^ Muhlstein, Julie (18 April 2021). "Everett's own spaceman thrilled to join all-civilian mission". The Everett Herald. Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  13. ^ Cuthbertson, Anthony (2 April 2021). "SpaceX reveals civilian passengers for trip into space this year". The Independent. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  14. ^ Sheetz, Michael (15 September 2021). "SpaceX's historic Inspiration4 launch reaches orbit successfully carrying private crew". CNBC. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  15. ^ a b c Chang, Kenneth (1 February 2021). "To Get on This SpaceX Flight, You Don't Have to Be Rich, Just Lucky". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  16. ^ Bianco, Brian (24 February 2021). "Inspiration4 Reveals Panel of Influential Judges to Select Entrepreneur to Join First All-Civilian Mission to Space" (Press release). Business Wire. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  17. ^ Stimac, Valerie (1 February 2021). "SpaceX Announces First All-Civilian Mission To Space, Inspiration4". Forbes. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (3 August 2021). "Netflix Greenlights 'Inspiration4' All Civilian Space Mission Docuseries From 'The Last Dance' Team". Deadline Hollywood.
  19. ^ a b Sheetz, Michael (30 March 2021). "Meet the full crew of the Inspiration4 mission flying with SpaceX in September". CNBC. Archived from the original on 31 March 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  20. ^ Berger, Eric (1 February 2021). "SpaceX announces first "free flyer" human spaceflight". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  21. ^ Malik, Tariq (3 September 2021). "SpaceX shows off its huge dome window on Dragon for private Inspiration4 spaceflight". Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  22. ^ a b c "SpaceX Inspiration4 astronauts reveal Dragon's "cupola" in the flesh". Teslarati. 2 September 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  23. ^ Kan, Michael (16 September 2021). "Inspiration 4 Successfully Blasts Off for the First All-Civilian Orbital Space Flight". PC Mag. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  24. ^ "SpaceX to Launch Inspiration4 Mission to Orbit". SpaceX. 1 February 2021. Archived from the original on 1 February 2021. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  25. ^ Thompson, Amy (15 September 2021). "Inspiration4's call signs: The crew of SpaceX's all-civilian mission have special nicknames". Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  26. ^ "Inspiration4 'space puppy' doubles as zero-g indicator and fundraiser". Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  27. ^ Thompson, Amy (15 September 2021). "Inspiration4 crew planning ultrasounds, microbe samples and more to understand health during flight". Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  28. ^ Gohd, Chelsea (1 September 2021). "Inspiration4 astronauts to conduct health research on private SpaceX mission". Retrieved 16 September 2021.