Chris Sembroski: The man who won a trip to space on board Inspiration4 mission with a raffle ticket

He is one of the four-strong crew headed to orbit on SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 15 September 2021 10:50
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<p>Sembroski, right, with his fellow Inspiration4 crew </p>

Sembroski, right, with his fellow Inspiration4 crew

It’s not normal that you don’t win a raffle but still get the prize, and it’s even weirder to enter a raffle and the prize to be a trip to space. On that basis, Christopher Sembroski has already managed two very unusual feats.

Mr Sembroski is one of the four-strong crew headed to orbit on SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission. That journey, chartered by billionaire Jared Isaacman, will see the crew shot into space and spend three days there, before falling back down into the ocean.

The rest of the crew – Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Mr Isaacman himself – were specifically chosen on a variety of different characteristics. But Mr Sembroski is part of the mission by a very lucky accident.

As part of the Inspiration4 mission, the team offered a ticket through the lottery that would help raise money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. People could donate to the hospital to receive a ticket, with the winner getting a seat on the journey.

Almost 72,000 people entered, to raise around $113 million. And at the end of that SpaceX chose its winner randomly.

Mr Sembroski was one of those 72,000 people who did enter the raffle for a ticket to space. But he did not actually win – his ticket was given to him by a friend, who recognised that it his lifelong interest in space should be rewarded with a trip there.

He is a 41-year-old aerospace industry employee who works at Lockheed Martin, and is a veteran of the US Air Force. He says his interest in spaceflight began early – with stargazing from his school’s roof – and has continued ever since, working as a Space Camp counselor and simulating space shuttle missions.

He then moved onto the Air Force, where he worked to maintain ballistic missiles. He was deployed for active service in Iraq and left active duty in 2007.

After that, he earned a degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and has since gone on to his current job in Seattle.

As with the rest of his crew, he has a value to represent, in line with how he got his place on the trip. His is Generosity; the rest have Hope, Leadership and Prosperity.

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