Contest Winners, Well being Employee Orbiting World in SpaceX 1st | Florida Information

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – The four people on SpaceX’s first private flight are pretty common, down-to-earth guys who got together by chance.

You will circle the earth for three days at an unusually high altitude – alone without a professional escort – before splashing off the coast of Florida.

Meet the crew who are taking space tourism to new heights after launching Wednesday night from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center:

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Isaacman got rich with the payment processing business he opened in his parents’ basement after dropping out of high school. He later attended an aviation university, took to the skies in fighter jets, and founded Draken International to offer military training in tactical aircraft. Space waved, and the Easton, Pennsylvania entrepreneur bought an entire flight from SpaceX to orbit the earth. The 38-year-old thinks air shows, his second hobby, are much more dangerous. “I don’t consider myself a risk-taker or a thrill seeker,” says Isaacman, whose daughters are 7 and 5 tie it with a very rewarding cause. “This time it’s the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Isaacman has pledged $ 100 million to St. Jude and is asking for an additional $ 100 million in public donations. To underline the message that there is room for “just ordinary people,” Isaacman offered St. Jude one of the four capsule seats and raffled the other two.


Arceneaux, now a medical assistant at St. Jude, was a patient with bone cancer at the age of 10 at the Memphis, Tennessee Hospital. To save her left leg, St. Jude replaced her knee and part of her femur and implanted a titanium rod. She is the first person to go into space with a prosthesis and, at 29, the youngest American woman. She was St. Jude’s election in January to represent the hospital in space. Arceneaux kept up with fellow travelers in training, even as she trudged up Mount Rainier in Washington in the snow. Their only compromise: SpaceX adjusted their capsule seat to relieve knee pain. “I’m very excited to open space travel to so many, so many different types of people who are not physically perfect,” says Arceneaux. She will chat with St. Jude patients from orbit and remind them that their dreams can come true too. She took her late father’s St. Jude tie, a precious possession. “I’m so grateful for my path with cancer because it gave me the love of life, just the joy of life and the confidence to say ‘yes’ to opportunities,” she says. “This is the greatest honor of my life.”


Sembroski, an Air Force veteran and data engineer for Lockheed Martin in Everett, Washington, always saw himself as a behind-the-scenes space booster who helps educate the public. He shot down model rockets in college and worked as a space camp advisor. So he thought it was a “crazy fantasy” when he saw the Super Bowl ad in February announcing the raffle prize draw and made a donation to go. He didn’t win, but a college friend won and he offered Sembroski his place on the flight. Sembroski says he was more restrained than others when he found out: “No words came out. I’ve become much more enthusiastic since then.” After six months of training, Sembroski, 42, has “no worries, no worries, maybe a little stage fright” about singing and playing a ukulele in orbit that is being auctioned to support St. Jude. His teacher Mrs. Erin She is “more than afraid for both of us.” They have two daughters aged 3 and 9 years. Sembroski says he’ll think about the historical nature of the flight – and its role in it – once he’s back on Earth.


Proctor applied to NASA three times to be an astronaut. The 51-year-old geologist and community college professor from Tempe, Arizona, even made it to the finals more than a decade ago. After meeting with NASA, she turned her attention to private space travel. But when 2021 emerged, she thought she was getting old – until she found out about Isaacman’s space raffle for his customers. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, she had started creating space-themed artwork and turned to Isaacman’s Shift4 company to sell her paintings. When asked on the eve of the launch if she was nervous, she said her only worry was that “this moment in my life would never come”. As only the fourth Black woman in space after three NASA astronauts, Proctor hopes to inspire other minority women. “As we move to the Moon and Mars and beyond, we are writing the human spaceflight narrative,” focusing on diversity, says Proctor. “We’re on Starship Earth and want to take everyone with us.” She became infected with the space virus at an early age: her late father worked at NASA’s tracking station in Guam during the Apollo moon landing.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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