Recent DMACC Celebrate! Innovation Live Keynote Speaker Selected to Circle the Earth On SpaceX

Posted 4/5/2021

Dr. Sian Proctor will be one of four civilians to orbit the Earth for three-days

  • Dr. Proctor was one of the recent DMACC ciLive! Keynote Speakers.

  • The four selected will take a three-day rocket ride on SpaceX later this fall.

  • Dr. Proctor was nearly selected as an astronaut 12 years ago.

  • Dr. Proctor’s recent ciLive! presentation is now available to view, free-of-charge HERE

Dr. Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old community college professor from Tempe, AZ, and a recent keynote speaker at DMACC's recent 12th Annual Celebrate! Innovation (ciLive! 12) Speaker Series, has been selected as one of the four civilians and first non-professional astronaut from NASA or another space agency to take a three-day rocket ride on SpaceX circling the Earth.

Entrepreneur, philanthropist and 38-year old billionaire Jared Isaacman has announced the two lucky recipients who will join him and 29-year old Hayley Arceneaux on SpaceX for a launch scheduled for October.

Lifelong space enthusiasts Proctor and 41-year-old Christopher Sembroski of Everett, Wash., who is a data engineer for Lockheed Martin, round out the four-person crew.  Arceneaux, a former patient of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, was selected to be the youngest American ever to go to space several weeks ago.

During her recent presentation at ciLive!, hosted at the DMACC West Des Moines Campus, Proctor's message was to inspire.

“My message in life is to inspire.  That's my super power—harnessing my unique, one-of-a-kind space to inspire those within my reach and beyond," Dr. Proctor said at the ciLive! event which was streamed live across the globe.  “You have the power to make a positive difference in the world and to create a just, equitable, diverse and inclusive space for humanity just by using your unique space.  When you embrace your space to inspire, you began to make connections and connections lead to opportunity."                                   

Dr. Proctor, who is African-American and holds a doctorate in science education, was selected by winning a contest sponsored by Isaacman's company, Shift4 Payments.  Dr. Proctor nearly became an astronaut in 2009 when she was among 47 finalists whom NASA selected from 3,500 applicants.  NASA chose nine new astronauts that year, however, Dr. Proctor was not one of them.

Dr. Proctor, who is a geoscientist, analog astronaut and space artist, has completed four analog astronaut missions, which she talked about during her recent DMACC ciLive! presentation.  In one of those missions, she was one of six people who lived for four months in a building on the side of a Hawaiian volcano as part of a NASA-financed experience to study the isolation and stresses associated with a long trip to Mars.

“In my many conversations with her, I've found Dr. Proctor to be an accomplished professional in many fields as an analog astronaut in the NASA-funded HI-SEAS project, as a professor at South Mountain Community College in Phoenix, as a science communicator on numerous educational T.V. shows and as a space artist," said ciLive! founder and DMACC West Campus Provost Dr. Anthony Paustian. “It's exciting to see someone who has had a childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, have the chance to orbit the Earth.  I envy her."

“At ciLive!, Dr. Proctor talked about how she became a space artist while stuck at home because of COVID, needing a way to share herself and her creativity with those around her.  So, she designed art, put it on postcards and now sends it to people all around the world.  She is truly inspirational."  

“I've followed the space program from the early years of Gemini through Apollo and the moon launches and most recently the International Space Station.  And now as the exploration of space transitions to commercial vehicles, I'm pleased to know that leaders like Dr. Proctor are paving for way for civilians to go to space." 

To view the recent DMACC ciLive! 12 presentation by Dr. Proctor, go to ​To view any of the recent ciLive presentations, go to​

For more information, contact:​ Dr. Tony Paustian​

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