Dr. Sian Proctor, a professor of geology in Arizona and an artist, is one of the four crew members chosen to be part of SpaceX’s Inspiration4 mission. Although she and her husband, Stephen, divorced in 2020, Proctor shared that the change helped lead her to SpaceX’s Inspiration4 flight.
Proctor wrote on her website’s bio page: “My goal as an analog astronaut and adventure scientist is to inspire the next generation of explorers. I believe in leading by example and sharing the personal story behind exploration. I want to inspire people to be their own explorer by making the connection that if something is new to you – then you are an explorer.”
Proctor has always dreamed of being an astronaut. She made the first cut in NASA’s selection process, but wasn’t selected as one of the final nine in 2009. However, she has participated in four analog missions, her SpaceX bio noted, including a 2020 all-female Sensoria Mars mission in 2020 in Hawaii that lasted four months. Now she will be the first Black female pilot of a spacecraft, Space Flight Insider reported.
Here is what you need to know about her ex-husband, Stephen, and how her journey through divorce helped lead to where she is today.
1. Proctor Said Getting Divorced at 50 Led to Her Becoming a Space Artist & Joining the Inspiration4 Team
In a tweet that Proctor shared on September 5, she revealed that when she was 50 she was getting divorced, broke, and dealing with the pandemic. But all of that helped lead her to becoming a space artist, which ultimately led to her winning a seat on the Inspiration4 team.
She wrote: “Exactly 1yr ago I moved in w/ Chris & Pattie as I was going through my divorce. I was 50, broke, & the pandemic had changed the world. I became a #SpaceArtist sending out @Patreon #postcards which Pattie supported & here we are 1yr later celebrating my art & me going to space!😊”
She also shared on Twitter: “My divorce enabled me to reach new heights and I found prosperity through creativity.”
Proctor shared on August 12 that she won the Prosperity seat on Inspiration4 when she “opened up a @Shift4Shop called My Space2inspire and then created a unique poem called #Space2inspire. You can see my unique art and learn more here: http://myspace2inspire.com.”
On her website, she shared that her dad died when was 19 and her mom died when she was 48. She wrote: “I haven’t always been a space artist. In fact, it was the isolated nature of COVID-19 that pushed me to become more creative. My father passed away from cancer when I was 19 and my mother passed away when I was 48. I suddenly found myself turning 50 and wanting to honor their legacy in some way.”
She said seeing how her mom had saved her dad’s postcards inspired her to send that same type of joy around the world. This ultimately led to MySpace2Inspire, which was the website that got her chosen for the Inspiration4 team.
2. She Said It Was a Long Road But She ‘Forged Forward’
In reply to a tweet about her divorce and how it led to where she is today, Proctor wrote: “Rose, it’s been a long road but I’m so happy I forged forward. I hope you are doing okay. Virtual hugs. ❤️👩🏿🚀🚀🌎🐉”
One of her friends wrote: “Your story is such an inspiration. I know it wasn’t easy, but you kept on with a singular focus on your dreams. So so so so excited to watch it continue to unfold. To the stars and beyond.”
In a different tweet, she shared that her brother Langley supported her when she was going through her divorce, and she truly believes “empathy for others is so important.” She said one of her brothers (Chris) took her in and the other (Langley) gave her money to help her when her marriage ended.
3. She Was Married in 2014 When She Was 42 & Although They’re Not Still Together, She Said Her Ex Is a ‘Good Guy’
Proctor and Stephen had a destination wedding in Hawaii on December 31, 2014, according to their Zola wedding registry. According to their Zola registry, Stephen’s full name is Stephen Borth.
They wrote on their page:
Aloha Everyone! Thanks for visiting our registry. Stephen and I are so lucky to have you all in our lives. We know that having a destination wedding means that many of you will not be able to join us on our special day. But we want you to know that you will be with us because without your friendship, love, and support, we would not be where we are today…
In a tweet, Proctor said she met her husband right after she did the Camino de Santiago.
In July 2020, she shared that one of the reasons she got married at 42 was because she felt like she was “damaged goods” being still unmarried at that point in her life, which she later realized was the wrong way to look at things. She said she was happy for the time they had together and her ex-husband is a good guy.
She wrote: “You know, I meet my husband at 42 and I had a huge desire to be married because society labels unmarried women as somehow damaged goods. I’m happy for the time I’ve had with my husband – he’s a good guy – but this isn’t the life I want. I want to soar high! 👩🏿🚀🚀”
Her St. Jude fundraising site even lists Stephen Borth as donating money to her Space2Inspire journey.
4. They Had Many Adventures Together While They Were Married
Proctor said in a tweet that they got along just fine, but they were more like roommates rather than significant others by the time they divorced. In a December 2016 post, Proctor shared that she and Borth were enjoying an “adventure day” at Estrella Mountain Park. “It’s a beautiful day and hardly anyone on the trail,” she wrote.
And in May 2016 they were planning another trip using a Tiki totem.
5. She Went Back to Where They Were Married After Her Divorce to ‘Close the Loop’
In November 2020, Proctor shared that after her divorce, she went back to where she and her ex-husband were married.
She wrote: ” I got married here, on this beach, December 31, 2014 and 5+ years later, I am back to close the loop with my divorce and wash away any negative energy. Bye Bye Bye!!✌🏽#Freedom”