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SpaceX Launches Astronaut Crew Like No Other on Orbital Adventure

  • September 16, 2021

That is because Mr. Isaacman decided not to just bring along his friends on this trip to space. Instead, he opened opportunities to three people he did not know.

“We set out from the start to deliver a very inspiring message,” Mr. Isaacman said during a news conference on Tuesday, “and chose to do that through an interesting crew selection process.”

The result is a mission that carries a crew that is more representative of wider society — Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis; Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old community college professor who would be the first Black woman to pilot a spacecraft; and Christopher Sembroski, a 42-year-old data engineer.

Mr. Isaacman has declined to say how much he is paying for this orbital trip, only that it was less than the $200 million that he hopes to raise for St. Jude with an accompanying fund-raising drive, one of the stated purposes of the trip.

During a news conference the day before the launch, the crew members expressed their excitement and said they were not feeling jitters.

Ms. Arceneaux’s Instagram profile included images from Kennedy Space Center. In one post, she posed before the Falcon 9 rocket with her mother, brother and sister-in-law. Another, which was taken from the launch tower, included the caption, “She’s ready, we’re ready.”

Dr. Proctor posted a portrait of herself in her custom SpaceX spacesuit, proclaiming herself “Flight Ready!”

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