|Mission type||Space tourism|
|Spacecraft||Crew Dragon Resilience|
|Launch mass||12,519 kg (27,600 lb)|
|Landing mass||9,616 kg (21,200 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||16 September 2021, 00:02:56 UTC|
|Rocket||Falcon 9 Block 5 (B1062.3)|
|Launch site||Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A|
|End of mission|
|Recovered by||GO Navigator|
|Landing date||19 September 2021 (planned)|
|Landing site||Atlantic Ocean|
|Reference system||Geocentric orbit |
|Regime||Low Earth orbit|
|Altitude||585 km (364 mi)|
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.
Inspiration4 is the first human spaceflight to orbit Earth with only private citizens on board. 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. Inspiration4 is led by Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman, an experienced pilot with qualification in military jets. 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. St. Jude raffled the second seat as part of a campaign to raise US$200 million for the hospital, termed St. Jude Mission: Inspired. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
|Spacecraft commander|| Jared Isaacman|
|Pilot|| Sian Proctor|
|Chief medical officer|| Hayley Arceneaux|
|Mission specialist|| Christopher Sembroski|
The Inspiration4 mission is using the Crew Dragon Resilience. This is the capsule's second flight, after Crew-1. 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. 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. The cupola is removable, so that Resilience can easily be reconfigured for missions in the future that require docking, following the conclusion of Inspiration4. 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.
Resilience launched on 16 September 2021 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. 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. 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". 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.
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. 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. 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.