Childhood Cancer Survivor Named to Inspiration4 Space Mission

Hayley Arceneaux (Credit: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Inspiration4 space mission has named a childhood cancer survivor and physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as the second crew for the orbital flight scheduled for late this year.

(more…)

NASA Assigns Astronauts to Agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 Mission to Space Station

NASA crew members of the SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station. Pictured from left are NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has assigned two crew members to launch on the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission – the fourth crew rotation flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the Crew-4 mission. Additional crew members will be assigned as mission specialists in the future by the agency’s international partners.

(more…)

TIME Studios Wins Exclusive Documentary Rights to Inspiration4, the World’s First All-Civilian Mission to Space

TIME Studios & Known to Produce with “30 for 30” Creator Connor Schell as Executive Producer for the Groundbreaking Project

(New York, NY — February 11, 2021) TIME’s Emmy award-winning television and film division TIME Studios has partnered with the studio division of Emmy & Peabody award-winning marketing firm Known to acquire the competitive documentary rights to Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to space.

Announced last week and featured at this year’s Super Bowl, the Inspiration4 mission will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, the 37-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Shift4 Payments and an accomplished pilot, philanthropist and adventurer. Isaacman is donating the three mission seats alongside him to members of the public who best exemplify the humanitarian pillars of the mission. Two of these seats are currently open to the public through a fundraising contest and an online competition using Shift4’s new ecommerce platform, Shift4Shop.com.

(more…)

2020 a Busy Year for Suborbital Launches

New Shepard landing on the pad in West Texas on October 13, 2020, with the NASA Lunar Landing Sensor Demo onboard. (Credit: Blue Origin)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Suborbital launch used to be a sleepy field that rarely attracted much public attention. Let’s face it, atmospheric research and student experiments are not front-page news. Sounding rockets don’t have the majesty and power of a Falcon 9 or Atlas V.

In recent years, exciting new entrants in the field and widespread streaming of launches have made suborbital flights exciting. Last year saw important suborbital flight tests by SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic and Skyrora that garnered worldwide interest.

(more…)

NASA Weighs Options for Additional Crew Transportation for Spring Soyuz Mission to Space Station

Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft docking at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — A rotating crew of NASA and international astronauts have called the International Space Station home for more than 20 years. To ensure a consistent U.S. presence on the space station through the years, NASA has implemented safeguards to ensure crew transportation is always available. 

(more…)

Inspiration4 Commercial Runs During Super Bowl

Email from Inspiration4

I wanted to share that over $1 million was raised for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the 90 minutes after the Inspiration4 commercial aired during the first quarter of the Super Bowl. The commercial, narrated by Octavia Spencer and directed by Bryce Dallas Howard, pointed viewers to www.Inspiration4.com where they could donate to St. Jude and qualify for a chance to go to space on the first all-civilian space flight launching later this year.

Editor’s Note: According to The Associated Press, a 30-second spot in this year’s Super Bowl broadcast costs $5.5 million.

Private Space Missions Multiplying Like Rabbits

Crew Dragon docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

With the spate of announcements about private space missions over the past year, it’s easy to lose track of the who, what, where, when, why and how of the flights.

As a public service, Parabolic Arc has collected information about all five of the announced missions.

(more…)

SpaceX’s All-Civilian Mission to Space Will Usher in New Era of Commercial Space Exploration

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 crew members are seen seated in the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during crew equipment interface training. From left to right are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, mission specialist; Victor Glover, pilot; and Mike Hopkins, Crew Dragon commander; and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist. (Credit: SpaceX)

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (SpaceX PR) — Plans for the world’s first all-civilian mission to space were announced today from SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. The mission is being targeted for the fourth quarter of this year and will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, the 37-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Shift4 Payments [NYSE:FOUR] and an accomplished pilot.

Named Inspiration4 in recognition of the four-person crew’s mission to inspire support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and send a humanitarian message of possibility, the journey represents a new era for human spaceflight and exploration. Isaacman is donating the three mission seats alongside him to crew members who will be selected to represent the mission pillars of leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity.

(more…)

Orbital Space Tourism is Back, Baby! And on Steroids

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NewSpacers of the world, rejoice! After a 12-year gap, orbital space tourism is back! And it’s bigger and more expensive than ever. The only bad news: Maverick will stay grounded — at least for now.

(more…)

NASA, SpaceX to Launch Second Commercial Crew Rotation Mission to International Space Station

Members of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station participated in training in Hawthorne, California, on Jan. 11, 2021. Pictured from left are ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. (Credit: SpaceX)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Tuesday, April 20, for launch of the second crew rotation mission with astronauts on an American rocket and spacecraft from the United States to the International Space Station.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission will launch four astronauts aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the space station. It will be the first mission to fly two international partner crew members as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

(more…)

Axiom Names Crew for First Private Mission to ISS

The Axiom Space Ax-1 crew: former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, Canadian businessman Mark Pathy, American investor Larry Connor, and Israeli businessman Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

HOUSTON (Axiom Space PR) – Axiom Space on Tuesday announced its crew for humankind’s first flight of a group of private individuals to a Low Earth Orbit destination – the first-ever entirely private mission proposed to fly to the International Space Station (ISS).

The proposed historic Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) will consist of: former NASA astronaut and Axiom vice president Michael López-Alegría as commander; American entrepreneur and non-profit activist investor Larry Connor as pilot; Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy; and impact investor and philanthropist Eytan Stibbe of Israel.

(more…)

SpaceX CRS-21 Safely Splashes Down Off the Coast of Florida, Returning Science From the Space Station Back to Earth

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., January 14, 2021 (CASIS PR)  – SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft splashed down safely off the coast of Florida last night, concluding a month-plus stay at the International Space Station (ISS) to bring back thousands of pounds of scientific research and cargo.

With this successful splashdown, SpaceX completed its 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting laboratory for NASA. This also marks the first mission of the upgraded Dragon cargo spacecraft with double the powered locker capacity of previous capsules, allowing for even more research to travel back to Earth for analysis.

(more…)

The Year of the Four Spaceships: Final Report

Crew Dragon docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Back in February, I went out on a limb and predicted that 2020 could be the Year of the Four Spaceships, with SpaceX, Boeing, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic and reaching major milestones in human spaceflight. (See 2020: Four Spaceships & the End of America’s Cosmic Groundhog Day)

With the disruption and deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t the easiest year to get things done. Keeping that in mind, let’s see how the companies did in 2020. (Spoiler Alert: they came up a little short.)

(more…)

Space Florida Looks Back on a Busy Year

EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (December 23, 2020) – Today, Space Florida shared the many accomplishments of Florida’s aerospace and commercial space industry in 2020. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s Cape Canaveral Spaceport kept launching rockets. In May, the world watched as American astronauts lifted off from Florida for the first time since 2011, marking a new era of human spaceflight and commercial space exploration. The aerospace industry represents a key part of the State’s strategy for post-pandemic economic recovery, and Space Florida has good reason to be enthusiastic about the future of aerospace.

“Despite the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the State, our industry and our organization, Space Florida is pleased to have had a successful year of growth within the aerospace industry here in the State of Florida, with support from Governor DeSantis as well as our Board Chair and Lieutenant Governor Nuñez,” said Space Florida President and CEO Frank DiBello. “Space Florida is working with other economic development partners to create an energized driving force in recruiting these companies to the Sunshine State. The future of this industry is very bright, representing an increasingly important segment of Florida’s economy.

(more…)

Canada’s Top Space Highlights of 2020

Credit: Canadian Space Agency

LONGUEUIL, Que. (CSA PR) — It’s an understatement to say that 2020 was an exceptional year. As the year draws to a close, here’s a look at some of the most compelling, inspirational and incredible moments for Canada in space. Happy New Year!

(more…)