Reaching for the Stars: Space2Inspire Weekend

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This coming weekend, a giant Black History Month-inspired art mosaic will be revealed on the field of Sun Devil Stadium, and will be photographed from a satellite in outer space! This weekend during Black History Month will feature special events that honor and recognize two notable ASU graduates: Ed Dwight, the first black American astronaut candidate, and Sian Proctor, the first black woman to piolet a space mission to orbit on Inspiration4.

Proctor sits down with Ted to talk about space and what her considerable accomplishments mean to her.

Proctor said she got the inspiration to become an astronaut from her dad, who was a scientist who worked for NASA.

“I grew up with NASA memorabilia to my dad,” said Proctor. “He was working at the NASA tracking station during the Apollo missions, including Apollo 11.”

Proctor originally applied to be an astronaut with NASA. However, she eventually had the opportunity to work for SpaceX on Inspiration4. This mission was the first all-civilian space mission to orbit the earth. According to Proctor, going to space was a spiritual experience.

“Being in space is awesome, there’s nothing better than floating and then seeing the earth,” said Proctor. “Earth-light is a a thousand times more better and spectacular [than moonlight].”

This week ASU is creating two 30×50 meter mosaics in honor of Proctor and Ed Dwight. These will be photographed from space by Planet Labs. Proctor, being an artist herself, is excited for this project. She said than her experience in space changed her outlook on her art.

“I’m an Afro-futurist artist and poet, and so I like to think about what our future will going to be like, particularly for women of color in the future and how they are going to play a role in space, and the advancement of human space flight,” said Proctor.

Sian Proctor

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