A badge representing a space capsule from which a dragon deploys: this is the badge that was given by SpaceX to the members of the Inspiration4 crew, which consists only of civilians, after their stay in space.
They have gone much further than many professional astronauts before them. The members of the Inspiration4 crew, whose particularity is to bring together only civilians, received on October 2 a symbolic distinction, which testifies to the exceptional adventure that they have just lived: the wings of an astronaut. The badge was issued by SpaceX, which had provided the flight.
The badge was presented to Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski and Sian Proctor, who served as captain, medical officer, mission specialist and pilot respectively during the Inspiration4 mission. The objective of this flight, although it had a scientific component, was mainly to place space tourists in orbit around the Earth for three days.
During their short space trip, the four members of Inspiration4 traveled up to 590 kilometers from Earth. This is a distance that may seem small, but it should be noted that the International Space Station is “only” 400 km above sea level. As for Hubble, it is 540 km away. In fact, the four travelers entered deeper into space than many astronauts.
An astronaut badge created by SpaceX
The badge Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski, and Sian Proctor received is a SpaceX-specific decoration – there are other astronaut wings, which are donated by organizations to which astronauts belong. In the USA, it may be the different army corps (navy, air force, land force), but also NASA and the civil aviation directorate.
As a result, each badge has its own unique look. In the case of SpaceX, we can distinguish a dragon turning its mouth to the side, with its wings outstretched on each side. In the center, we see the Crew Dragon capsule – whose name was not entirely chosen at random – which was used to transport the Inspiration4 crew. The inscription “crew” is visible on the front and the name of the recipient is marked on the back.
These accolades are awarded when requirements are met, starting with flying high enough in the sky to “exit” the atmosphere – the border has been established by convention at 100 kilometers (or 80 kilometers in the US). However, there is a debate emerging across the Atlantic to ask whether the criteria for awarding these badges should not be tightened up, due to the boom in space tourism.
The Inspiration4 mission was qualified as historic, as it is the first in history to rely only on civilians on board – everyone had received crash training anyway, so as not to be totally lost in the capsule. . It was also the first of its kind to be operated by a private company. Others will follow in the months and years to come.