Bone cancer survivor to join billionaire on SpaceX flight

Bone cancer survivor to join billionaire on SpaceX flight
This Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 picture offered by St. Jude Kids’s Analysis Hospital exhibits Hayley Arceneaux on the hospital in Memphis, Tenn. On Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, the hospital introduced that the 29-year-old doctor assistant—a former affected person employed the earlier spring—will launch later this yr alongside a billionaire who’s utilizing his bought spaceflight as a charitable fundraiser. (Mike Brown/American Lebanese Syrian Related Charities, St. Jude Kids’s Analysis Hospital through AP)

After beating bone most cancers, Hayley Arceneaux figures rocketing into orbit on SpaceX’s first non-public flight needs to be a bit of cosmic cake.


St. Jude Kids’s Analysis Hospital introduced Monday that the 29-year-old doctor assistant—a former affected person employed final spring—will launch later this yr alongside a billionaire who’s utilizing his bought spaceflight as a charitable fundraiser.

Arceneaux will grow to be the youngest American in area—beating NASA record-holder Sally Experience by over two years—when she blasts off this fall with entrepreneur Jared Isaacman and two yet-to-be-chosen contest winners.

She’ll even be the primary to launch with a prosthesis. When she was 10, she had surgical procedure at St. Jude to switch her knee and get a titanium rod in her left thigh bone. She nonetheless limps and suffers occasional leg ache, however has been cleared for flight by SpaceX. She’ll function the crew’s medical officer.

“My battle with most cancers actually ready me for area journey,” Arceneaux mentioned in an interview with The Related Press. “It made me robust, after which additionally I believe it actually taught me to anticipate the sudden and go alongside for the journey.”

She needs to indicate her younger sufferers and different most cancers survivors that “the sky shouldn’t be even the restrict anymore.”

“It is going to imply a lot to those children to see a survivor in area,” she mentioned.

Isaacman introduced his area mission Feb. 1, pledging to lift $200 million for St. Jude, half of that his personal contribution. Because the flight’s self-appointed commander, he supplied one of many 4 SpaceX Dragon capsule seats to St. Jude.

With out alerting the workers, St. Jude selected Arceneaux from among the many “scores” of hospital and fundraising workers who had as soon as been sufferers and will signify the subsequent technology, mentioned Rick Shadyac, president of St. Jude’s fundraising group.

Bone cancer survivor to join billionaire on SpaceX flight
On this undated picture offered by St. Jude Kids’s Analysis Hospital, Hayley Arceneaux stands close to a SpaceX rocket on the aerospace firm’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. Arceneaux, 29, will grow to be the youngest American in area when she blasts off in SpaceX’s first non-public spaceflight deliberate for the autumn of 2021 with entrepreneur Jared Isaacman and two yet-to-be-chosen contest winners. (St. Jude Kids’s Analysis Hospital through AP)

Arceneaux was at house in Memphis, Tennessee, when she obtained the “out of the blue” name in January asking if she’d signify St. Jude in area.

Her quick response: “Sure! Sure! Please!” However first she needed to run it previous her mom in St. Francisville, Louisiana. (Her father died of kidney most cancers in 2018.) Subsequent she reached out to her brother and sister-in-law, each of them aerospace engineers in Huntsville, Alabama, who “reassured me how secure is.”

A lifelong fan who embraces journey, Arceneaux insists those that know her will not be stunned. She’s plunged on a bungee swing in New Zealand and ridden camels in Morocco. And he or she loves roller-coasters.

Isaacman, who flies fighter jets for a interest, considers her an ideal match.

“It is not all purported to be about getting individuals excited to be astronauts sometime, which is definitely cool,” Isaacman, 38, mentioned final week. “It is also purported to be about an inspiring message of what we will accomplish right here on Earth.”

He has two extra crew members to pick out, and he plans to disclose them in March.

One shall be a sweepstakes winner; anybody donating to St. Jude this month is eligible. Thus far, greater than $9 million has are available in, in keeping with Shadyac. The opposite seat will go to a who makes use of Shift4Payments, Isaacman’s Allentown, Pennsylvania, credit score card-processing firm.

Liftoff is focused round October at NASA’s Kennedy House Heart, with the capsule orbiting Earth two to 4 days. He is not divulging the fee.


US billionaire buys SpaceX flight to orbit with 3 others


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