To infinity ... and beyond!
To the average person, space travel might seem like a far-away dream, a fantasy. But it's about to become a reality for two lucky people—one of which could be you!
A contest seeks two people to participate in the world's first civilian spacecraft mission. Called Inspiration4, the SpaceX mission will be commandeered by Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman in a low-Earth orbit journey later this year. The four-person crew will blast off in the Crew Dragon spacecraft launched by the first orbital reusable rocket, the Falcon 9. Once in space, crew members "will conduct experiments designed to expand our knowledge of the universe."
The out-of-this-world opportunity was revealed during Super Bowl LV in a stunning commercial directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, which featured haunting vocals by Celeste singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
“While a historic journey awaits us in space, I hope this mission reinforces how far inspiration can take us and the extraordinary achievements it leads to here on Earth.” – Jared Isaacman, Inspiration4 Commander pic.twitter.com/y41tsFJzNu— Inspiration4 (@inspiration4x) February 1, 2021
Isaacman is described as "an accomplished pilot and adventurer" who holds military-grade qualifications and multiple world records. As though an all-expense-paid trip to infinity and beyond wasn't enough, the spacecraft will launch from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, the same place where the Apollo famously blasted out of the hemisphere. Talk about history in the making!
In addition to furthering human progress, the leap for mankind will also benefit charity. Isaacman chose St. Jude's Children Hospital for a goal of $200 million to be raised during the mission. He's already contributed $100 million alone to the venture.
According to the website, each crew member's seat will represent an ideal paramount to the Inspiration4 message: Leadership, Hope, Generosity, and Prosperity. Isaacman will assume the Leadership seat, but civilians are needed for the latter two. The respective requirements include being a "generous" donor to St. Jude's and starting a business using Shift4 Payments.
So how does the contest work? Just visit the mission's website to submit your entry for the seat of your choice. Contestants will be vetted by a celebrity panel, and the winners will be unveiled in mid-March. You can get the details here. If the planets align, you might find yourself on the mission of a lifetime. Best of luck, fellow space voyagers!
Have you ever wanted to go to space? If you won, what would be the first thing you'd do? Let us know in the comments.