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St. Jude: The charitable beneficiary of the Polaris Program

Finding cures. Saving children.®


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Art by St. Jude patient Colton of a rocket blasting off into space.

Artwork by St. Jude patient Ty


Expanding our understanding of what's possible

As with the Inspiration4 spaceflight —the first all-civilian mission to orbit — the Polaris Program will push the frontiers of human space exploration. 

Starting with Polaris Dawn, the program will consist of a series of missions, culminating in the world’s first-human spaceflight on Starship, all while raising awareness and funds for important causes here on Earth, including St. Jude.


Meet the Polaris Dawn crew

Jared Isaacman - Mission Commander

Jared Isaacman

Mission Commander

Scott Poteet - Mission Pilot

Scott Poteet

Mission Pilot

Sarah Gillis - Mission Specialist

Sarah Gillis

Mission Specialist

Anna Menon - Mission Specialist & Medical Officer

Anna Menon

Mission Specialist & Medical Officer


Jared Isaacman — Commander of Inspiration4 — will command up to three Polaris missions, starting with Polaris Dawn. We are grateful to Jared and deeply honored by his continued support of St. Jude through his spaceflights. 


St. Jude is proud to be the charitable beneficiary of this milestone in spaceflight, which will allow us to continue our groundbreaking research for kids worldwide afflicted with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

St. Jude patient Aspen
Polaris crew reading "ABC's of Cancer" wall during tour of St. jude campus

A visit to St. Jude, and an inspiration for patients to reach for the stars

The Polaris Dawn mission crew took time from their training schedule to tour St. Jude and meet some of the children and families they are helping. They did an art project with the patients who peppered them with questions about the mission. Read about the event or learn more about the crew and their mission.

Polaris Dawn logo.


Scheduled for no earlier than summer 2024


  • Polaris Dawn crew will spend up to five days in orbit, flying higher than any Dragon mission to date and endeavoring to reach the highest Earth orbit ever flown.
  • The flight will feature the first-ever commercial spacewalk with SpaceX-designed extravehicular activity (EVA) spacesuits, upgraded from the current intravehicular (IVA) suit. The development of this suit and the execution of the EVA will be important steps toward a scalable design for spacesuits on future long-duration missions.
  • They will become the first crew to test Starlink laser-based communications in space, providing valuable data for future space communications systems necessary for human spaceflight to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Polaris Dawn Mission Patch

Polaris Dawn Mission Patch


Background art by St. Jude patient Caleb


Out-of-this-world opportunities

Bid now during this exclusive auction and help the Polaris Program continue to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude.

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Polaris Dawn signed and framed mission flag that will go to space.

Check out the St. Jude Amazon store

Space and Polaris Dawn-themed T-shirts, tote bags, phone cases and more — all to benefit St. Jude kids.

Shop out Amazon Store


Explore Polaris Dawn merchandise

Show your support for this mission with a flight jacket, hat and more. Proceeds benefit St. Jude.

Browse the Gear


Polaris Dawn Mission Patch

When you donate $25 or more to St. Jude, you will receive this Polaris Dawn Mission patch as our gift to you. 

Donate Now


The St. Jude mission is global

St. Jude video

As the Polaris Program expands our understanding of what's possible in human spaceflight, St. Jude continues to strive here on Earth to improve global survival rates for childhood cancer. 


The single most significant predictor of whether a child with cancer will survive is where they live.

Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from 20% when the hospital opened in 1962 to more than 80% today, meaning 4 out of 5 children afflicted with cancer in the United States will survive.

20 to 80 icon

However, that statistic is reversed in many developing countries: fewer than one in five children with cancer will live.

St. Jude is working to change that.

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Our worldwide goal

Our goal is to cure at least 60% of children with six of the most common kinds of cancer worldwide by 2030.

Learn more about St. Jude Global.

Patient Jacob.

St. Jude patient Jacob, blood cancer


Together, we can build a brighter future for the generations to come. 

Your donation will advance the lifesaving work of St. Jude and help bring us closer to a day when no child — anywhere — dies in the dawn of life.

Headshot of Jared Isaacman.

Jared Isaacman is the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, a company he started in 1999 when he was only 16 years old, which today is an industry-leading payments technology company with more than 1,200 employees. Jared is an influential business leader who's been featured by various media outlets and publications. 

An accomplished jet pilot and world-record holder, he's rated to fly commercial and military aircraft. Jared was the commander and benefactor of Inspiration4 and will also be the commander of the three Polaris missions.

Read more about Jared and his connection to St. Jude.