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Saturday, 11 September 2021

Inspiration4 reveals mission payload highlights, including the first ever minted NFT song to go into space


Astronauts have long brought interesting items into space, dating back to the very first Mercury mission in 1961. But with Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to orbit, the crew will be taking not just personal mementos but things that didn’t exist even a year ago, much less 60 years ago. Indeed, their payload will include the first-ever minted NFT song to be played in orbit, created by the Grammy Award-winning rock band Kings of Leon.

The minted NFT, a never-before-released performance of “Time in Disguise” from the band’s newest album, is among a handful of unique items that will go into orbit and be auctioned off on YellowHeart to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and its $200 million Inspiration4 fundraising campaign to accelerate research advancements and save more children worldwide.  

“We are proud to support St. Jude and its Music Gives initiative,” said Kings of Leon in a statement, which explained that Music Gives to St. Jude Kids is a way for bands, fans, and everyone in between to help ease the burden on St. Jude families while generating funds to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® “We’re honored to participate in this historic journey in an effort to raise money for St. Jude, and we’re sending all our best to the crew of Inspiration4.” 

Hayley Arceneaux, Inspiration4’s Medical Officer, will play the NFT aboard the SpaceX Dragon vehicle. She is a St. Jude physician assistant and cancer survivor who will be the youngest American, the first pediatric cancer survivor, and the first person with a prosthesis to travel to space.

The Inspiration4 payload auction items will also include a variety of iconic and culturally significant items donated to St. Jude, including:

  • Inspiration4 mission jackets featuring unique artwork by St. Jude patients, and original artwork by the Inspiration4 crew members, that were created by Space for Art Foundation co-founders artist Ian Cion and retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, and handmade by spacesuit replica artist Ryan Nagata.

  • 66 pounds of hops that, upon return, will be used to brew an out-of-this world beer by the brewers of Samuel Adams. As the official beer of Inspiration4, Sam Adams has committed a maximum $100,000 donation to St. Jude.

  • A Fisher Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Space Pen & Coin Set containing a piece of material from Apollo 11. 

  • A ukulele from Martin Guitar that crew member Chris Sembroski will play in space.

  • 50 art NFTs from 50 different artists will be auctioned on Origin Protocol’s NFT platform in collaboration with Subtractive, including an NFT that crew member Dr. Sian Proctor will bring into space that was also a piece of physical art that previously traveled to the Mariana Trench, making it the first piece of art that went to the furthest ocean depths and then into orbit.

  • A handful of plastic and plush STEM toys based on the five characters from the popular animated STEM series, “Space Racers.”

  • A mini-astronaut plush that will be delivered to the winning bidder with an original collar designed by renowned artist Romero Britto.

  • The recent TIME magazine with cover feature of the four crew members that they will autograph after the SpaceX Dragon capsule returns.

  • IWC Schaffhausen has designed and donated four unique, space-themed Pilot’s Watch Chronographs representing the mission’s values of Leadership, Hope, Generosity and Prosperity. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Inspiration4 watches will be worn by the four crew members on their journey into space, before being auctioned off to benefit St. Jude.

  • Customized Montblanc StarWalker Writing Instruments and stationeries for the crew to write about their journey in space.

The auction opened on Thursday, Sept. 9, and will run through November, with different items being available at various points during the overall auction. All items can be bid on by visiting stjude.org/inspiration4. 

“One of the key things we’ve focused one since Inspiration4 was first announced was how we will be able to make a significant contribution to help St. Jude cure childhood cancer here on Earth,” said Jared Isaacman, Shift4 Payments CEO and commander of Inspiration4. “Every item we are bringing is going to help us reach our goal and allow us to share this experience with so many others who want to offer support.”

The funds raised by the auction will contribute to the more than $128 million already committed toward the $200 million Inspiration4 fundraising campaign, according to Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“The impact of the Inspiration4 mission has been immeasurable, serving as an incredible platform to educate and engage millions in the movement to find cures and deliver care for childhood cancer and other catastrophic diseases through accelerated research and treatment,” said Shadyac. “The auction is a critical component of the overall campaign as it enables us to reach new audiences and supporters as we work to fulfill our mission.”

In addition to the aforementioned items and others that will be auctioned off to benefit St. Jude, each crew member is bringing a myriad of personal mementos, including family items and school memorabilia. Additionally, the payload will also carry items that illuminate the St. Jude mission while honoring the patients and families who have been impacted by childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

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