Civilians in space: Who are the astronauts flying on Falcon 9 and what is their mission?

Four everyday people will be making history when they step on board the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

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They will be the first all-civilian crew to be blasted into space when the Falcon 9 rocket launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The launch window opens at 8:02 p.m. Wednesday and will last for five hours. It has about a 70% chance of good weather during that time, NBC News reported.

The launch will be streamed live.

The four citizen astronauts will work for three days above the Earth before returning home. They have been training for this mission for five months, both in classroom settings and simulated flights, Reuters reported.

They will be conducting medical experiments with “potential application for human health on Earth and during future space flights,” the team said, according to Reuters.

“From the start of this mission, I’ve been very aware of how fortunate we are to be part of this history SpaceX is creating right now,” billionaire-turned-spaceman Jared Isaacman said, according to NBC News.

Who will be in the capsule for the mission when it takes off?

Jared Isaacman

Isaacman is 38 and the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payment, a payment-processing company based in Pennsylvania. He paid to be on board the spacecraft, but how much it cost him has not been released, NBC News reported.

He is the commander of the mission and is rated to fly commercial and military jets.

Chris Sembroski

Sembroski is a U.S. Air Force veteran and an aerospace data engineer, Reuters reported. He has the title of mission specialist. He won a sweepstakes that raised $100 million for St. Jude, beating 72,000 other people for a seat.

Sian Proctor

Proctor is the mission’s pilot. The 51-year-old woman had been a NASA astronaut candidate and was selected through a contest through Shift4 Payments, Reuters reported.

She is the first Black female pilot to fly a space mission, she told “Today.” She is a geoscientist and licensed pilot, Reuters reported.

Hayley Arceneaux

Arceneaux is a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the same hospital where she had been treated for bone cancer, she told the “Today” show. She will be the youngest American to go to space at the age of 29 and the first person with a prosthetic on a space mission after she lost her leg to cancer. She’s the crew’s chief medical officer, Reuters reported.

What is the mission?

The mission is called Inspiration4, and was developed by Isaacman to raise awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Isaacman has pledged to donate $100 million to the hospital, Reuters reported.

This is the 23rd Falcon 9 mission and the second this week, Space.com reported. It is also the fourth crewed SpaceX mission.



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