Credit: SpaceX
September 15, 2021: A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket with four crewmembers inside was sent aloft on a mission unlike any before. It’s the first private, all-civilian space flight to orbit the Earth. There are no professional astronauts on board.
Credit: SpaceX
Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center
Now successfully in orbit, the crew of Inspiration4 will circle the globe for three days before returning home. There’s also an earthbound mission as well: to raise $200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. You can participate in this historic space endeavor yourself by making a heart-felt donation:
Donate Here
Credit: Inspiration4 Photos
Civilians into space (clockwise from top): Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Chris Sembroski and Dr. Sian Proctor

On board are Medical Officer Hayley Arceneaux, who was treated at St. Jude for bone cancer when she was a child. Hayley now works at St. Jude as a physician assistant. Chris Sembroski, employed at Lockheed Martin, is a veteran Space Camp counselor, and is an active donor to St. Jude. Chris is Mission Specialist. It seems that no high-profile space mission these days would not be complete without a billionaire on board and the Inspiration4 team has one. Jared Isaacman, the CEO of Shift4Payments has underwritten the cost of this mission (estimated to be $50 million per passenger) and is Flight Commander. Lucky Dr. Sian Proctor, who won the online lottery for a seat on this flight, is Mission Pilot.

Dr. Sian Proctor, Mission Pilot …and space artist!  Credit: SpaceX
Dr. Proctor taught geology, sustainability and planetary science at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. To further her interest in space, she applied to NASA but got turned down. Instead, she became an “analog astronaut,” taking part in simulated missions to the Moon and to Mars. Fascinated with what astronauts would eat on long-term missions, she wrote a cookbook called Meals for Mars. This led to appearances on the Discovery Channel and PBS.  She also took time to nurture her passion for creating space art. And that’s what caught our eye! Here are some of her artistic creations:
Credit: Dr. Sian Proctor
Space2Insipre by Dr. Sian Proctor
Credit: Dr. Sian Proctor
Artemis Rising by Dr. Sian Proctor
Credit: Dr. Sian Proctor
Solar Sisters by Dr. Sian Proctor
Credit: Dr. Sian Proctor
New Hope by Dr. Sian Proctor

It’s not every day that a space artist actually goes into space and we naturally made the connection to Chesley Bonestell, “the Father of Space Art.”

Photo by Robert E. David 
Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986) in his studio

In the award-winning documentary, Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future, many prominent space artists are featured and indeed, America’s pre-eminent space artist, Ron Miller is one of the Co-Producers.  We thought it would be important to obtain perspectives from them.

LYNETTE COOK: space artist, teacher, and co-author of Infinite Worlds
“On many levels Dr. Proctor is an inspirational choice as crew member for this mission. First and foremost, I find this so because women - and especially women of color - continue to strive for visibility and equal opportunity in many areas of science, including those of astronomy and space flight. This is well documented in books and films such as ‘Hidden Figures,’ written by Margot Lee Shetterly.  Clearly, ‘equality’ is a work in progress, and I am thrilled that Dr. Proctor is moving this ball forward. As if all this weren’t enough, her experience as an educator and her work with students on STEAM projects that merge art and science shows that she communicates well and motivates others to learn. This is exciting!”
RON MILLER- Co-Producer, space artist, and author of over 50 books, including The Art of Chesley Bonestell.

“Dr. Sian Proctor joins the distinguished company of other artists who have journeyed into space: American Astronauts Alan Bean and Michael Collins as well as Russian Cosmonauts Alexei Leonov and Vladimir Dzanibekov, but she is one of the first to try to humanize the experience of spaceflight. Her paintings mix the iconography of the high tech of astronautics with traditional African design. The result is moving and meaningful to children of all ethnicities who have aspirations to become scientists and astronauts and to anyone who may perhaps be seeing for the first time the exploration of space through the eyes and mind of a fellow human being and sharing the same sense of wonder, accomplishment and hope that Dr. Proctor experiences.”

DON DAVIS- Space artist, filmmaker, animator and the only artist to be personally mentored by Chesley Bonestell.

“Dr. Sian Proctor is extremely fortunate to be a part of the first all-civilian crew to orbit the Earth. She stands out for her career in education and outreach efforts as an achiever on several fronts. She’s now become that rare combination of astronaut and space artist, which will allow her to express her art from direct experience with the subject. Now that space is becoming more accessible, Dr. Proctor and artists to come will bring their unique and diverse perspectives to people all over the world.”

DAVID AGUILAR- Space artist, television host, musician, author of 12 children’s books about space.

“That Dr. Proctor is actually going up into the cosmos that she has been painting is incredibly exciting. More than nine hundred years ago in a hot parched canyon of New Mexico, an early Pueblo artist carved the likeness of a total solar eclipse onto a wall for all to see. Space artistry, as we know it today, had begun. It took space artist giants like Chesley Bonestell to awaken mankind to future technological possibilities as he forged ahead, revealing what space exploration and distant worlds might look like in the decades to come. From ancient stone carvings to civilian space tourists now sharing their personal awe for the stars, the space artist has come a long, long, long way. In this brief moment in time, we mark the human adventure - for all mankind.”

Credit: Inspiration4 Photos
The Inspiration4 Crew

Dr. Proctor summed it all up herself when she said: Going to space has always been a dream of mine and being able to inspire the world through art and poetry makes it even more special for me.” We wish her and everyone that is a part of the Inspiration4 mission all the best for a safe journey above the Earth and back home again. You can add your support with a donation through the link below. We thank you most sincerely!

-The Chesley Bonestell Team 

Please visit our website for more information about how to see the award-winning documentary, Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future:

Copyright © 2021 Chesley Bonestell: A Brush With The Future, All rights reserved.

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