LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – It’s a short rocket ride that ended a long road to space.
Dr. Sian Proctor is the pilot aboard the SpaceX Inspiration4. It’s the first space flight featuring a crew of private citizens and the first space flight to raise money for charity.
They’re not astronauts in the traditional sense, but Proctor’s family is elated that she’s living her dream.
“Being able to see it live, we were all just screaming last night and from my understanding, it was a textbook launch. It’s amazing,” said Robyn Selent.
Selent is Dr. Proctor’s sister and is a biology teacher in Riverside Local Schools in Painesville. She told FOX 8 via ZOOM that her sister has always loved science and space, two things that Robyn says came from their father.
Proctor graduated high school in Fairport, New York, but she was born in Guam. Their father was part of a very important team in Guam that tracked the Apollo 11 as it returned to earth.
In fact, Robyn says Sian brought along something special to remember their dad.
“The astronauts made a trip to Guam to thank the people at the tracking station and my dad was one of the very few people and only one of two there that got Neil Armstrong’s autograph,” Robyn said. That went up in space with my sister.”
The Resilience capsule where the astronauts will be riding is unique because it features the biggest window to go into space, and from a big window, you’ll get big views.
Sian has been trying to get into space her entire life and just missed out on joining NASA’s astronaut corps 12 years ago. This is a view she’s waited for her whole life.
“When we reveal the cupola for the first time, that will be a big moment, I think, because that view, we’re all excited about it.” Sian told reporters in an interview before launch.
The mission was privately funded, and part of the goal is to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Robyn says the mission crew is also hoping their trip into space will serve as an inspiration to others that space travel is for anyone.
“The future of space travel and what it means for women, especially for minority women, and my sister is only the fourth African American woman to go into space, and to be the pilot of the rocket and there are so many inspirational messages that will come out of this,” she said.
Sian, who is also a poet and artist, was able to get her seat on this flight after being chosen from several hundred video entries in an open competition.
The crew is expected to return in the Resilience capsule this weekend.
Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to state that Dr. Proctor graduated from Fairport High School in New York. We regret this error.