Profiles of Inspiration4: Chris Sembroski flying to space in the ‘generosity’ seat
Chris Sembroski, an engineer from Washington state, is set to fly to space in less than a week as part of the Inspiration4 mission.
This is the fourth of four stories profiling the Inspiration4 crew, which is expected to launch in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as early as 8 p.m. EDT Sept. 15 (midnight UTC Sept. 16), 2021. This flight is being used to raise $200 million dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
The Inspiration4 mission consists of four non-professional astronauts — Jared Isaacman, a self-starter who dreamed of flying and going to space his entire life; Hayley Arceneaux, a childhood cancer survivor and now a St. Jude physician assistant; Sian Proctor, a geoscientist, explorer and science communication specialist; and Chris Sembroski, an Iraq war veteran and current Lockheed Martin engineer.
When they launch, Sembroski, 42, will be the mission specialist of the three-day mission into Earth orbit. He represents the mission pillar of generosity. The other three pillars are leadership, hope and prosperity.
Chris Sembroski was the winner of a month-long raffle process which saw more than 72,000 entries submitted. The raffle helped raise millions of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
However, Sembroski wasn’t initially selected. The spot was transferred to him after a close friend of his from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who was unable to accept the seat for personal reasons.
Sembroski has had a lifelong interest in space. He even worked as a Space Camp counselor, promoting science, technology, engineering and math to children and teenagers.
Over the last several months, he has been training with his three other crew members to fly on the Inspiration4 mission.
Recently, Sembroski completed flight training in the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet Trainer made in cooperation with French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation and German Aircraft manufacturer Dornier Flugzeugwerke. Following jet training he earned his call sign — “Hanks.”
Sembroski grew up in Kannapolis, North Carolina. During college, Sembroski volunteered for ProSpace, a nonprofit organization advocating for private spaceflight for the every-day person.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics, he joined the U.S. Air Force and was trained as an electro-mechanical technician. He was later deployed for service in Iraq before leaving active duty in 2007. Sembroski now works as a data engineer for Lockheed Martin and lives in Seattle, Washington.
Since being selected in March, he has maintained his day job for Lockheed Martin.
“It’s going to be a balancing act,” he said in an interview with GeekWire in March. “I do have a great team. I am fortunate enough to have an awesome supervisor and company that I’m working for, that has flexible time and schedules — and they understand that people have lives outside of work. I just can’t think of any greater opportunity to take that extra time than to be part of this crew.”
This is the final of four stories profiling the Inspiration4 crew. Click the following links to read about Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux and Sian Proctor. Inspiration4 is set to launch later this week as early as 8 p.m. EDT Sept. 15 (midnight UTC Sept. 16).
Video courtesy of Orbital Velocity
A native of Lonedell, Missouri, Michael McCabe is a former Long Island firefighter and emergency medical technician. He is a non-active Florida EMT with 20 years of fire rescue experience. He is also a lifelong science fiction and space enthusiast. At the age of 10, he watched in his school classroom as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. In 2008, he moved to the Sunshine State and works as a private tour guide at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for a private company based in Orlando. McCabe has been a fan of SpaceFlight Insider since our inception in 2013. He reached out to ask how he could assist our efforts to spread space flight awareness. Shortly thereafter, he was welcomed into our expanding team.