Isaacman and fellow billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, announced February 1 that Isaacman has, in essence, chartered the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft that delivered two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in 2020, the first astronauts launched from U.S. soil into orbit since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.
Two of the four seats are spoken for. Isaacman, an FAA certificated airline transport pilot who holds more than two dozen current world records ratified by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale set on circumnavigation flights in business jets in 2008 and 2009, will command the mission.
The second member of the crew will come from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Isaacman said in a video chat with AOPA.
“She’s a childhood cancer survivor who was treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and grew up and became a health care professional and is working there, and is in the fight helping other kids to beat that illness every day,” Isaacman said. The mission, dubbed Inspiration4, also aims to be “the largest fundraising and awareness campaign in the 59-year history” of the nonprofit health care facility in Memphis, Tennessee.
“The goal is to raise over $200 million,” Isaacman said, noting he has personally pledged $100 million, and Musk has also agreed to chip in. “I’m pretty sure we’re going to far exceed the donation objectives.”
And that is where you come in. Online donations to St. Jude collected via the Inspiration4 website will increase your chances of getting a seat on the Dragon. No purchase or donation is necessary, but every dollar donated adds 10 entries in the drawing, up to 10,000 entries.
The fourth crewmember will be chosen in a separate process: Entrepreneurs are invited to launch an online Shift4Shop commerce site and post a video on Twitter about how the business plans to change the world. An independent panel of judges will pick the fourth crewmember, Isaacman said.
“A month from now you’re going to have Inspiration4 together, and many of them right now are walking around, everyday people, and have no idea that they’re going to be fitted for a space suit in less than a month,” said Isaacman, who took up flying as a stress reliever. His aeronautical pursuits have led to many type ratings, always with an eye on achieving goals that date to his kindergarten days.
Isaacman, 37, is
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