Kyle Hippchen may have traveled on SpaceX’s first Inspiration4 mission , but he was 70 pounds overweight.
In September 2021, four civilians flew a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule into space. It was the so-called Inspiration4 mission and it was the first space tourism test of Elon Musk’s company, with crew members from outside this industry.
One of Inspiration4 ‘s members was aeronautical engineer Chris Sembroski , who we learned had won a giveaway for this milestone . However, what has just been made public is that he was not destined to fly, but his friend Kyle Hippchen, who had to give up the ticket due to being overweight.
30 kilos separated him from space
Kyle Hippchen , a 43-year-old airplane pilot, was drawn in March 2021 to go to space on this ship from among more than 70,000 participants. The only requirement to enter the drawing was to make a donation to a hospital in Tennessee. Hippchen supported with $600.
However, from SpaceX they gave him a requirement that tormented the winner: he had to weigh less than 113 kilos and he weighed 149.
Being a pilot, the American was aware that the weight requirements are strict and he saw it as unlikely to lose more than 30 kilos in the remaining months.
Despite how difficult it was for him, he found a solution: give it to a friend. And that’s when Chris Sembroski, his college roommate and astronomy fanatic, walks in.
“I am incredibly disappointed. But that’s the way things are,” he told the AP agency .
Hippchen was on the day of the launch of the rocket into space , from a special balcony for him. Sembroski says he is “eternally grateful” to his friend.