Inspiration4’s ‘all-civilian’ spacefliers share orbital activities — including a ukulele solo

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Inspiration4 crewmates Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arsinaux, Chris Sambrowski and Sean Proctor check in via a video link. (inspiration 4 photos)

On the eve of their scheduled return from orbit, four amateur astronauts exposed the world to their activities – an out-of-this-world routine focused on raising money for charity and observing the bubble shape of the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. Cupola window.

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Inspiration4 crew member Chris Sambrowski, a Lockheed Martin data engineer from Everett, Wash.

“I can play for you a little bit,” he said over a space-to-Earth video link. “You can turn your volume down if you want, but I’ll give it a shot.”

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Sambrowski’s music sounded fine; Nevertheless, he followed up the performance with a promise. “It’s still before coffee, so it’ll get better as the days go by,” he said.

The ukulele, like many other items that were brought with them for Wednesday’s launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will be sold to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

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The philanthropic goal behind it is to support St. Jude’s mission to treat childhood cancer. inspiration4 mission, as envisioned by Jared Isaacman, the billionaire founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments. Isaacman, an amateur pilot who Build your own private fleet of fighter jets, is paying the multi-million dollar cost of the mission and serves as its commander.

Sambrowski was added to the flight when one of his college friends won a charity sweepstakes for a ticket to space—and essentially gave Sambrowski the ticket instead. The two other civilian astronauts are Sean Proctor, a teacher and artist who won an online competition for users of Shift4’s online payment system; and Hayley Arsinaux, a cancer survivor who is now a physician assistant at St. Jude.

The flight made 29-year-old Arsinox the youngest American in space as well as the first person in space with a prosthesis (a titanium rod placed in his leg during cancer treatment). Proctor is the first black female space pilot. And taken together, Inspiration 4’s foursome is the first crew to orbit without a professional astronaut in their midst.

During their flight, the astronauts are conducting a series of medical experiment, including testing of ultrasound monitors to check intercranial pressure – which is a growing concern for long-duration space flight. They are checking their vital signs, and samples will be studied to look for changes in the microbiome.

Much of the mission’s to-do list had to do with fundraising and outreach to St. Jude: Arsinaux presided over a Video meetups with cancer patients and their families. “I just want to let you all know that we are doing this for you,” she said. “We’ve been thinking about you a lot. I want to tell you that I, like so many of you, was a little girl going through cancer treatment, and if I can do it, you can do it. “

Isaacman kept The first game bet made from space, with a determined victory for the hospital. (He won a bet on thursday night, but it will have to wait to find out if his Super Bowl bet comes to fruition.) And Sambrowski’s guitar won’t be the only item. auctioned for charity: Proctor’s space-created artwork, an autographed copy of Time magazine and Dozens of digital NFT creations Will also come up for sale.

Clones of the mission’s zero-G indicator – a spacesuit-clad plush puppy who has become the mission’s unofficial mascot – were $24. selling in in St. Jude’s online gift shop. (The pups are currently sold out, but the hospital is promising to restore the shelves.) Meanwhile, the Samuel Adams brewery is donating $100,000 to St. Jude in exchange for the chance Turn 66 pounds of space-flight hops into a limited-edition batch of beer.

The schedule still leaves plenty of time to perform tricks in zero gravity and view the dome of the SpaceX Crew Dragon, which was added for this mission because the spacecraft does not have to dock with the International Space Station – as was the case. SpaceX’s First three crewed flights to orbit. The Crew Dragon used for this mission, called Resilience, had as an initial outing vehicle for a space station crew last year.

By all accounts, the Resilience is performing flawlessly in autonomous mode, and there are no reports that Isaacman has had to take control. The spacecraft is reaching a maximum altitude of 585 kilometers (364 mi), which is 100 miles above the International Space Station and the highest flight humans have flown since Space Shuttle Discovery. Visited the Hubble Space Telescope in 1999.

Splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Florida, is currently scheduled for Saturday at 7:06 p.m. ET (4:06 p.m. PT). Here are other updates on the crew’s orbital activities from Inspire 4’s Twitter account:



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