Space

The Crew Dragon seat contest fell just short of the fundraising target

Summary

Just a tiny portion of its target has been raised so far by a contest to sweepstakes off a position on a forthcoming Crew Dragon mission, but the competition planners claim that even after the competition ends, they will pursue […]

Just a tiny portion of its target has been raised so far by a contest to sweepstakes off a position on a forthcoming Crew Dragon mission, but the competition planners claim that even after the competition ends, they will pursue the fundraising campaign. February 1, that will carry Isaacman as well as three other individuals on a Crew Dragon spaceship late this year, SpaceX as well as billionaire businessman Jared Isaacman revealed the “Inspiration4” flight. Before coming back to earth, they will spend numerous days in space.

The champion of this month’s contest, meant to increase money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will go to one of three seats open. Via February 28, people can buy entries from the Inspiration4 site, with the winner chosen on or about March 1. As of early February 16, however, the contest, as per its website, had generated less than $9 million. That puts the contest far below the $100 million marks, including another $100 million which Isaacman is planning to contribute to St. Jude.

Brian Bianco, an Inspiration4 spokesperson, confirmed the $100 million fundraising target goes well beyond competition this month. “For the period of the flight between now as well as launch, the $100 million targets were set and we will share various incentives and opportunities over the following days beyond the existing opportunities for the sweepstakes,” he informed SpaceNews on February 15. “It is a project for 2021. The process of crew selection is only the first part.”  Isaacman wrote, “We are just starting to help generate funds for @StJude Hospital lots more to follow, like corporate contributions.”

That’s unique from what Isaacman stated when the competition was revealed. In a February 1 media interview, he stated, “The other [seat] would be awarded via a national fundraising effort that starts today and continues through February,” after announcing that one seat would be donated to the hospital to enable one of its staff to travel on the flight. “Our aim is to generate more than $200 million, and I will contribute the first $100 million to this considerable effort.”

In that presentation, he also stated that while the competition is not meant to cover for the flight itself, which he has already supported, he expected that the money generated “will definitely surpass the expense of the mission itself by far.” He did not say how much he spent on the flight.

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