Valley college professor calls trip to space on SpaceX capsule ‘out of this world’

Sep 27, 2021, 4:25 AM | Updated: 9:37 am
(Twitter photo/@DrSianProctor)...
(Twitter photo/@DrSianProctor)
(Twitter photo/@DrSianProctor)

PHOENIX — A capsule parachuting into the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast on Sept. 18 after a trip to space concluded what was a dream come true for a Valley college professor.

Sian Proctor, a professor at South Mountain Community College, was among the four-person crew of the SpaceX Dragon capsule.

“It was an amazing experience,” Proctor told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday. “It was out of this world.

“I’m kind of still in shock that we’ve gone up and come back down.”

The capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Sept. 15, with Proctor piloting the fully automated capsule.

“Everything went so smoothly from liftoff to being on orbit to de-orbiting,” Proctor said, adding de-orbiting is a time where things could potentially go wrong.

Proctor, a one-time NASA astronaut finalist, along with trip sponsor Jared Isaacman and two others spent three days in space, being presented with views of a lifetime.

She didn’t realize that because of their altitude and the design of the cupola – a bubble-shaped window at the top of the capsule – that they would be able to see the entire sphere of the Earth.

“When you get up there and see that, you are just in awe and amazed,” Proctor said, adding going into it as a poet and an artist added another layer to the experience.

“Just absolutely stunningly beautiful.”

The crew wasn’t just up there to sight-see as Proctor said there were many tasks to complete during the three-day trip.

“Went by way too fast and we had too much to do,” Proctor said, adding there was no sense of boredom.

“We had all these medical research experiments we were doing, I wanted to paint so I did one drawing and one full painting.”

Proctor isn’t sure what she will do next for the Maricopa County Community College District, serving as the district’s astronaut resident, but is excited to bring the experience to the classroom.

“Geology tends to attract a lot of non-science majors, and I’m always excited to take those students and get them really fired up about science and our planet and the possibilities,” Proctor said.

“Now being able to add this orbital perspective to our planet really adds something.”

After winning her ticket by beating a field of 200 applicants, Proctor said she would be open to going on another trip to space with the company.

“Flying with SpaceX was a fantastic experience, they are the most amazing company,” Proctor said.

“I’m not going to turn them down if they come knocking.”

The capsule reached a high altitude of 363 miles, surpassing the International Space Station by 100 miles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee speaks during the Rally To Protect Our Elections conference on...

Republican Arizona treasurer Kimberly Yee withdraws from governor’s race

Arizona treasurer Kimberly Yee announced Saturday she will be withdrawing from the Republican primary for governor.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

18-month-old girl in critical condition after drowning incident in Paradise Valley

An 18-month-old girl was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition after a drowning incident in Paradise Valley Saturday morning, authorities said. 
1 day ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Phoenix police arrest wanted man involved in multistate manhunt

A man wanted for shooting a New Mexico police officer and fleeing a Colorado jail was arrested early Friday morning in Phoenix, police said.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Man arrested for allegedly shooting teen fast-food worker in Phoenix

A man was arrested Friday evening for allegedly shooting a 16-year-old fast-food restaurant worker in the head after an altercation in Phoenix on Thursday night, authorities said. 
1 day ago
FILE - Martin Luther King III speaks during a rally for voting rights, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, on ...
Associated Press

MLK III: History to remember Sinema unkindly over filibuster

PHOENIX (AP) — Martin Luther King III came to Arizona with harsh words for Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, whose refusal to change the Senate’s Jim Crow-era filibuster rules makes voting rights legislation unlikely to pass. King told a crowd campaigning to protect voting rights that Sinema cannot simultaneously express support for the legislation while also […]
1 day ago
(City of Glendale Photo)...

New 4-acre lake at Heroes Regional Park in Glendale now open

Grab those fishing poles as the new lake at Heroes Regional Park in Glendale opened on Thursday, the city announced.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

HVAC upkeep in Arizona saves money, keeps families prepared in the long run

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
Canvas Annuity

Annuity basics: how to retire with a guaranteed paycheck for life

Does the thought of retirement fill you with stress or with happiness? Everyone wants to spend their retirement in a way that brings them the most joy, whether that’s traveling the world or spending extra time at home with grandkids.
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
Valley college professor calls trip to space on SpaceX capsule ‘out of this world’