We Are the "New Astronaut Corps"

March 16, 2021 at 6:47 am by Frank White

Recently, I entered a contest called the Inspiration4 Mission that will take four people into orbit on a SpaceX flight, possibly by the end of this year. It will be the first all-civilian spaceflight in history and at least four members of the Overview Effect community have applied for it (MaryLiz Bender, Loretta Whitesides, Sian Proctor, and me).

Although we are technically competing for a seat on the flight, we have been supporting one another in this quest and I think it must be very much like NASA’s astronaut corps (and the situation with other national space programs): everyone wants a mission, but if your friend is selected, you are happy for them. In fact, I might not have been able to enter the contest if it hadn’t been for MaryLiz. Part of the entry process is posting a video to Twitter about why you want to go. Twitter kept rejecting my video and I needed a lot of help from MaryLiz to find the right file format. That is what I mean by cooperation!

It has occurred to me that “We are the new astronaut corps.” By that, I don’t mean only those of us who have applied for this contest, but everyone who has ever dreamed of leaving the Earth and experiencing the Overview Effect. Nothing really stands in our way at this point except funding, either by individuals or organizations like Space for Humanity. It truly is a new era.

For more information, here is a link to the Inspiration4 website: