MEMPHIS, Tenn — An out-of-this-world donation and experience is being gifted to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Shift4 Payments Jared Isaacman will be buying a space flight from Space X founder Elon Musk. The flight and space enthusiast is donating $100 million of his own money and is hoping to match that to give more than $200 million to the hospital.
"St. Jude's mission is not about rockets or space exploration it’s about treating some of the heart-wrenching conditions that any parent could imagine," Isaacman said.
This will also be the world's first all-civilian space flight. Musk hopes this will also break barriers for other civilians to fly to space one day.
"This is an important milestone towards enabling access to space for everyone," Musk said.
The price tag for the flight hasn't been released, but this will be the first private civilian crew to fly on Space X Dragon. A St. Jude frontline worker will be among the four passengers.
"The three crew members we are selecting come from everyday walks of life including a frontline health care worker who committed to helping kids fight cancer, someone who visits our mission's website and makes a donation, and an aspiring entrepreneur building a business," Isaacman said.
Isaacman, who doesn't have any personal connection with the hospital, knows this organization is working on some of the most important work on the planet.
"If we’re going to be continually making advances up there in space then we have an obligation to do the same down here on earth," Isaacman said.
Those associated with the hospital are incredibly happy to be receiving a donation and experience of this magnitude. ALSAC CEO and president Richard Shadyac Jr. said this will serve as an inspiration to the children the hospital helps.
"That’s the kind of inspiration you’re going to give kids everywhere whether you’re inspiring them by this fundraising campaign and this incredible opportunity you’re giving to one of our St. Jude ambassadors," Shadyac said.
Musk believes this will be inspiring and allows for more to visit space one day, too.
"I’m really looking forward to doing this mission and it should be really fun and inspiring for all," Musk said.
The orbital mission is set for this October.