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    Meet The SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts: Highly Experienced 4 Private Crew Members

    Sav Anderson

    By Sav Anderson - May 29, 2024 | Updated On: 31 May, 2024 | 3 min read

    By Sav Anderson , 3 min read - May 29, 2024

    Updated On: 31 May, 2024

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts. Image Credit: Social Media.

  • The SpaceX Polaris Dawn mission is set to commence soon. Expectations are set high, and the goals are to learn about spaceflight and the outcomes of radiation exposure.

    Today, we will meet the four leading heroes taking control of this forthcoming mission. Meet the SpaceX Polaris Dawn astronauts, a group of four highly capable experts with years of space study experience.

    You Must Know This About Polaris Dawn Mission

    Polaris Dawn Mission was first announced on the 14th of February 2022, as Shift4 CEO Jared Isaacman and SpaceX joined hands.

  • This mission is the first and dominant move on the Polaris Program to fast-track human spaceflight and funding of space projects.

    Interestingly enough, this mission by SpaceX is a division of 4 astronauts whose expertise will demonstrate innovative ideologies on board.

    Not just this, the goals are to provide for important research and elevate the first flight of SpaceX Starship. Thus, this launch will be a blueprint for the other flights to follow later.

    So, now that we know about the mission, Shift4’s CEO will be accompanied by three other SpaceX Polaris Dawn astronauts specializing in their respective areas.

  • Before moving towards the introduction to astronauts, another exciting notice that SpaceX’s ESA EarthCARE mission happened on May 28, 2024.

    4. SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts: Jared Issacman, Polaris Dawn Commander

    Jared Issacman, 38, the current CEO of Shift4 Payments and a billionaire, is a veteran spaceflight expert and commander. Also, he was the man in command of the SpaceX Inspirational4 mission inaugurated in 2021.

    Issacman has collected quite an ocean of experiences, from flying military jets to setting a world record for circling the globe 20 hours faster than the previous record of 83 hours.

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts. Image Credit: Instagram.

    Jared, the leader among the SpaceX Polaris Dawn astronauts, is also the esteemed owner of Draken International, a company you might want to join if you are interested in jet pilot training.

  • Keeping aside the mission, Issacman agreed to do an additional flight only when the ” bigger purpose of opening up space for everyone upgrading human life to multi-planetary residents” gets prioritized.

    The 6000-hour flight experienced commander seeks to accomplish earth-level and spatial objectives!

    ALSO READ: Unmodified Phones Video Call Through Starlink SpaceX Cellular Satellite

    3. Scott Poteet: Polaris Dawn Mission Pilot

    Scott Poteet, 50, is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force (USAF), having flown the F-16, A-4, T-38, T-37, T-3, and Alpha Jet during his service period.

  • The veteran has over 400 combat hours in several operations, such as Northern Watch, Southern Watch, Joint Guardian, Freedom’s Sentinel, and Resolute Support.

    Irreplaceable as one of SpaceX Polaris Dawn astronauts, Scott’s expertise is undoubtedly the most elite. Moreover, the spacecraft pilot has over 20 years of Air Force service and 3,200 flying hours.

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts. Image Credit: Instagram.

    Poteet has been the Commander of the 64th Aggressor Squadron, a USAF Thunderbird No. 4 demonstration pilot, and an operational test and evaluation pilot.

    The 50-year-old’s presence in this mission is inevitable, given that he was a long-time associate of Issacman. Poteet was also the director of business development at Draken International and vice president of strategy at Shift4.

  • 2. Sarah Gillis: Polaris Dawn Mission Specialist

    Sarah Gillis, although 30 years old, specializes as the lead space operations engineer in the Polaris Dawn mission.

    Sarah is in charge of instituting SpaceX’s new astronaut training program, necessary for missions such as Inspiration4 and NASA Crew Dragon missions Demo-2 and Crew-1.

    Gillis’ accomplishments include mission control operations, navigational officer for the Dragon cargo resupply mission, and Dragon human spaceflight missions.

    The Polaris Dawn Mission Specialist became a firm part of SpaceX in 2015 as an intern. Meanwhile, she studied engineering and dance at the University of Colorado. So, Gillis does know how to swing a few dance moves too.

  • SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts. Image Credit: Instagram.

    A fun fact about Gillis is that she initially wanted to become a classical violinist. If she had chosen her earliest career wish then she wouldn’t have received such a massive honor of going to space.

    It was the former NASA astronaut Joe Tanner, who became the force behind Sarah’s decision to pursue Aerospace engineering. Isn’t it interesting?

    Similarly, you might also be interested in learning about the Lunar Environment Monitoring Station.

    1. Anna Menon: Polaris Dawn Mission Specialist/Medical Officer

    Anna Menon is the lead space operations engineer at SpaceX and also the Polaris Dawn mission director. She sure has an immense responsibility to live up to.

  • Menon’s contribution to SpaceX is worth mentioning, as she has led the implementation of Dragon’s crew capabilities as the crew communicator. During the previous flights, the specialist’s quick responses to emergencies such as a fire or cabin depressurization were widely praised.

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts

    SpaceX Polaris Dawn Astronauts. Image Credit: Instagram.

    Leading the SpaceX Polaris Dawn astronauts as a mission director, Menon has also nurtured her place at NASA. She completed NASA crewed spaceflights Demo-2 and Crew-1 missions and uncrewed cargo missions CRS-22 and CRS-23.

    While at NASA, Anna also served as biomedical flight controller for the International Space Station and dipped her toes into the service of the World Health Organization, Engineers Without Borders, and Engineering World Health.

    In conclusion, this was a brief introduction to the roles and responsibilities on the shoulders of the SpaceX Polaris Dawn mission’s highly experienced four private crew members, enthralled to make this mission a grand triumph.

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