A 29-year-old survivor of childhood bone cancer might turn into one of many youngest folks to fly in house when she launches on a private journey aboard a SpaceX rocket.
Hayley Arceneaux, a doctor’s assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, will be a part of the private Inspiration4 spaceflight led by billionaire Jared Isaacman, which is able to launch on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule later this yr. Arceneaux’s choice because the “Hope” member of the crew was unveiled at present on the Today Show on NBC.
The invitation to affix Isaacman’s Inspiration4 crew got here by way of St. Jude, Arceneaux’s former remedy middle.
“It came out of the blue,” Arceneaux mentioned of the invitation from St. Jude. “Basically, they asked if I wanted to go to space. Immediately, I said, ‘Yes, yes! Put my name down.'”
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Arceneaux acquired her remedy in 2002 (when she was 10 years previous) and can turn into the primary individual with a prosthetic physique half to go to house, in response to the New York Times, as she acquired metallic rods to exchange elements of bones in her left leg.
Her flight represents a brand new alternative to fly numerous populations into house, as NASA’s regular astronaut necessities exclude folks with such disabilities. Private flights reminiscent of this SpaceX one, nevertheless, might open the door to individuals who couldn’t usually qualify for presidency flight alternatives.
The Inspiration4 flight will probably be commanded by Isaacman, a pilot and the billionaire founding father of the fee processing firm Shift4Payments. The mission is anticipated to launch this fall, SpaceX has mentioned.
Isaacman will donate the opposite three seats; Arceneaux is the primary of these introduced. A 3rd seat will go to a contributor to St. Jude fundraising in a contest, and a fourth will come from the winner of an entrepreneur competitors sponsored by Isaacman’s Shift4Shop.
You can learn the way to enter each contests on the Inspiration4 website right here.
Arceneaux continues to assist sufferers at present on the hospital as a doctor’s assistant. She mentioned the constructive perspective she cultivated throughout the troublesome elements of remedy will in all probability assist her face the challenges of spaceflight, too.
“I really hope to show [childhood cancer patients] that the sky is not even the limit,” Arceneaux mentioned. “They can do anything. I never thought I’d be able to go to space. Really until this mission, you really had to be physically perfect. This mission is changing things. Getting to be a cancer survivor in space is such an incredible honor.”
As issues stand, Arceneaux would be the youngest American to fly in house — beating the primary American girl in house, Sally Ride, by two years. (Ride was 31 when she first flew in 1983.) Soviet Union cosmonaut Gherman Titov holds the file for youngest house traveler, having flown a month shy of 26 years previous when he launched aboard the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 2 in August 1961.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.