MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The crew of the Polaris Dawn mission, which will push the limits of human space travel, took time out for training yesterday to make their first official visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.
In February, Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 (NYSE: FOUR), announced plans for the Polaris program, a first-of-its-kind effort to advance humanity’s exploration of space and to help solve the toughest problems on Earth. The program will include up to three manned spaceflight missions, starting with Polaris Dawn, which will perform the first commercial spacewalk, and culminating with the world’s first flight of SpaceX’s Starship with humans on board. Like Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to orbit Isaacman commissioned last fall, the Polaris program seeks to support the St. Jude mission.
“We are deeply honored that Jared Isaacman has chosen to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude’s rescue mission through the historic Polaris Dawn Mission and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the St. Jude campus. . Jude with the rest of the crew,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr.President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and outreach organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Inspiration4 has raised nearly $250 million for St. Jude and brought attention to the relentless need for investment in childhood cancer research and treatment. Funds raised through the Polaris Dawn mission will help fuel St. Jude’s six-year, $12.9 billion strategic plan that will make a global difference in the fight against childhood cancer,” Shadyac said.
“At the end of Inspiration4, I said we were just getting started — both in terms of space missions and supporting St. Jude,” Isaacman said. “$250 million just isn’t enough to fulfill St. Jude’s mission to cure childhood cancer.”
Isaacman will command each of the Polaris missions and will be joined on Polaris Dawn by Mission Pilot Scott Poteet, who previously visited St. Jude as Mission Director for the Inspiration4 mission. Crew members Sarah Gillis and Anna Menon were first-time visitors to St. Jude. Gillis is chief space operations engineer at SpaceX and a crew mission specialist for the upcoming Polaris Dawn mission. Menon is also chief engineer for space operations at SpaceX and a crew physician for the upcoming Polaris Dawn mission.
During their visit to campus, the crew toured the Inspiration4 Advanced Research Center, a state-of-the-art research facility that will forever link St. Jude’s mission and their journey through space to a larger cause – that no child should die in the dawn of life. The highlight of the day for everyone was time for the crew to get to know some of the children and families they help. The kids peppered the crew with questions about life in zero gravity, looking at Earth from space, the upcoming spacewalk and why the crew chose to come to St. Jude.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is at the forefront of how the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Its objective is clear: to find cures. Save children.® It is the only comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped boost the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since the hospital opened in 1962. St. Jude won’t stop until no child will die of cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists around the world can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Thanks to generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food, so they can focus on their child’s life. Visit St. Jude Inspiration to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Join the St. Jude Mission by visiting stjude.orglove St. Jude on Facebooknext Saint Jude on Twitter, instagram, LinkedIn and ICT Tacand by subscribing to its Youtube channel.