On the eve of their scheduled return from orbit, four amateur spacefliers brought the world up to date on their activities — an out-of-this-world routine that focused on raising money for charity and gazing out the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule’s cupola window.
Inspiration4 crew member Chris Sembroski, a Lockheed Martin data engineer who hails from Everett, Wash., even strummed a serenade on a custom-made ukulele.
“I can play a little for you,” he said over a space-to-Earth video link. “You can turn your volume down if you wish, but I’ll give it a shot.”
Sembroski’s music sounded just fine; nevertheless, he followed up the performance with a promise. “It’s still before coffee, so it’ll get better as the day goes on,” he said.
The ukulele, like many of the other items that the foursome brought with them for their Sept. 15 launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, will be sold off to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.
Supporting St. Jude’s mission to treat childhood cancer is the philanthropic goal behind the Inspiration4 mission, as conceived by Jared Isaacman, Shift4 Payments’ billionaire founder and CEO. Isaacman, an amateur pilot who created his own private fleet of fighter jets, is paying the multimillion-dollar cost of the mission and serves as its commander.