The Inspiration4 Mission launched by SpaceX successfully launched this past Wednesday, and the crew is set to splash down on Saturday, September 18th. But there’s more to this mission than just flinging civilians into space. The main goal of Inspiration4 is to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. And to do that, the items on board the spacecraft are for sale.
Items on the Inspiration4 mission are going up for auction
The Dragon capsule orbiting earth right now is jam-packed with items up for auction right now. Many of the items are listed on St. Jude’s website, ready to be sold to the highest bidder. And most of them are up in space, which gives them some extra street cred (hence the high values tacked onto each item).
The objects range from works of art to custom jackets, and even a signed poster from the cast of Friends. And the crew has signed an array of items, like a Martin guitar that’ll be played from space. There are also experiences available to bid on, such as meeting Food Network celebrity chefs. The auction runs until November, so there’s plenty of time to place a bid.
And to tie it all into funding St. Jude, one-of-a-kind artwork from the patients has also been loaded onto the capsule. So you could directly support one of the children by buying their paintings. There’s a more extensive list of the items that’ll be available on the Inspiration4 website. However, these aren’t the only auctions underway.
SpaceX is hosting NFT auctions for the Inspiration4 mission
Two slightly unconventional means of raising money are also underway, but the proceeds will still go to St. Judes. Using NFT currency, the auctions are run by Ethereum and Polygon. Though, rather than selling physical objects that have been to space, these NFT auctions are selling digital files.
Polygon has a wide array of Inspiration4 animated patches (careful clicking the link, the first time I did my computer froze). On the surface, they look like very expensive .gif files. And I do mean that, as some of these patches are selling for over $1 million.
Meanwhile, Ethereum is auctioning off sound files of the crew members, and digital works of art. The Ethereum NFT auction only lasts until 8 pm EST on Saturday the 18th. So if you have some digital currency lying around, you’d best take a look now.
Now you have a variety of ways to get involved in the very first civilian mission to space while supporting a good cause. It’s an unconventional way of raising money, but luckily, Inspiration4 is already committed to donating to St. Jude whether you buy an item up for auction or not.
Inspiration4 has already committed to supporting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
From the pockets of the people making this mission possible, over $128 million is being donated to St. Jude, with the proceeds of the auction being tacked on afterward. The overall goal of the campaign is $200 million, according to Richard C. Shadyac Jr., the CEO of the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
But this whole idea was dreamed up by Jared Isaacman, one of the four crewmembers onboard the Inspiration4 mission. Sick of just billionaires going to space, he wanted to break the mold by sending regular people on a rocket, with the billionaire proceeds going toward St. Jude rather than being hoarded.
And he gave away the first seat to Hayley Arceneaux, who is a frontline worker for St. Jude and a former patient, diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at the age of 10. The second seat was auctioned off for $13 million (with the proceeds going toward St. Judes). And the final seat went to a business owner opening a donation page using Jared Isaacman’s company, Shift4 Payments.
So Inspiration4 is more than just a rocket launch or a SpaceX experiment. The crew onboard are making history actual history, rather than billionaires paying to do the same thing.