Astronaut on SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Mission Took a Meteorite to Space and Back, in a First

By Benzinga
December 15, 2021 Updated: December 15, 2021

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk-led SpaceX’s all-civilian crew took a piece of an ancient meteorite to space back during its three-day trip to space and back in September, revealed astronaut Sian Proctor.

Proctor in a Twitter post revealed she was able to take a meteorite to space during the all-civilian Inspiration4 mission earlier this year.

Proctor, who is a geoscientist and an entrepreneur, shared a 14-second clip with the post.

The video showed the piece of a Barringer Crater, also known as Meteor Crater, a 0.8-mile diameter, 570-feet deep hole in the flat-lying desert sandstones of Arizona.

The initiative was a collaboration between SpaceX and the Arizona State University that allowed Proctor, an alumnus of the institution, to fly the fragment to space.

Proctor also tagged the university’s professor and director Meenakshi (Mini) Wadhwa in the post and thanked her for making the initiative possible.

Wadhwa clarified in a response to the post that it is indeed the first asteroidal meteorite to journey back to space and then make the trip back again to Earth after some said that the feat has been achieved before.

A piece of a meteorite was sent back to back to space and Mars in 2013.

Proctor and three others were part of the Inspiration4’s all-civilian crew that took the round trip. The mission was led by billionaire entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of e-commerce firm Shift4 Payments Inc..

Other astronauts included Hayley Arceneaux, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who is also a childhood cancer survivor, Chris Sembroski, an Air Force veteran, and aerospace data engineer, and Sian Proctor, a geoscientist and entrepreneur.

The event was live-streamed on Netflix Inc. as part of a limited episodes docuseries “Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space.”

By Rachit Vats

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