Why the Inspiration4 Mission is Really Important to Society’s Future


Why the Inspiration4 Mission is Really Important to Society’s Future

At 00:02:56 UTC September 16th, 2021, Falcon 9 B1062-3, launching out of Kennedy Space Centre’s LC-39a, carried Jared “Rook” Isaacman, Sian “Leo” Proctor, Hayley “Nova” Arceneaux, and Chris “Hanks” Sembrowski higher than anyone has in the 21st century. There have been a lot of recent commercial and civilian space flights, but Inspiration4 is different. Inspiration4 has had and will have, a profound impact on society. 

The Inspiration4 mission started out in 2020 when Shift4’s CEO Jared Isaacman was negotiating buying shares in the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, otherwise known as SpaceX. This eventually turned into SpaceX discussing their plans to launch private crews on their Crew Dragon vehicle. Isaacman mentioned that he would be willing to fly when SpaceX was ready. 

How Private Spaceflight has turned into a Joke

When people were first hearing of Inspiration4, most immediately thought this was just Elon Musk’s way of competing with Jeffrey Bezos and Sir Richard Branson. Elon Musk is in no way competing with them, SpaceX is competing with them and their companies, and even then, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are just doing small flights carrying up rich 18-year-old Dutch kids and suing other companies and the US government. There are so many things that can be said about these billionaires but I’d like to keep this essay somewhat short.  

Because of Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, but mostly Blue Origin, private spaceflight has become a joke. This is why Inspiration4 originally did not get much good attention. 

Current Impacts from Inspiration4

We are already able to see the profound impact Inspiration4 has had on humanity. Space is now open to anyone. Axiom is already kinda almost flying on Crew Dragon, although there can be many things said about their first crew of old, rich, white men. Anyway, the first private mission allowed all of the other, questionable, missions to follow. 

Hayley “Nova” Arceneaux has inspired many people. Arceneaux was diagnosed with osteosarcoma or bone cancer. She was the first person with a prosthetic to ever fly into space and now works at St. Jude. She had video calls with patients during her flight and is inspiring more and more children after seeing her be able to fly. 

Dr. Sian “Leo” Proctor grew up around space exploration. She was born a little under a year after Apollo 11. Her father worked at Apollo 11’s tracking station in Guam. She got her Ph.D. in Geoscience in 2006 and applied to be an astronaut candidate in 2009. She got to the final selection round but was turned down. She always wanted to fly to space and she thought that dream was over. She was eventually talked into applying for the Inspiration4 mission and was accepted. She became the first pilot that is a woman of color and the fourth woman of color to ever go to space. She is inspiring children everywhere to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles are in their way and no matter how long it takes. 

Chris Sembrowski is a 42-year-old Air Force veteran. He was given a seat on Inspiration4 by an anonymous friend. During training, there were many instances when he wondered if he could go. He has a wife and children and didn’t want to do anything too risky. He trained really hard to the point where he could safely fly. He was a regular guy with a family that went to space and inspired tons of people. 

Jared Isaacman, a 38-year-old from New Jersey dropped out of school to create a successful business, now known as Shift4. He does risky things like climbing mountains all around the world and skydiving all the time, but this was an entirely new thing for him. During a conference call with SpaceX, originally to negotiate buying shares, he casually mentioned how he wanted to fly with them eventually. Later on, it turned into a big thing. It would be a fundraiser for St. Jude and they’d take people making big contributions with them. 

Years ago, no everyday person would’ve ever thought that they could go to space, but four people just did it. In the next 20 years, we’ll have families going to space for vacations and people living on Mars. The Inspiration4 mission is a big stepping stone towards this future. People may wonder why we should be going to space. The answer to that question is to keep humanity progressing toward a common goal. Humans are constantly fighting against each other. Any longer and there would be no more humans. We need to find a goal to work towards to keep us from fighting over the Earth’s resources, and the only option is space.