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Hayley Arceneaux, cancer survivor, heading to space in SpaceX

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A bone most cancers survivor, who’s now a doctor assistant, can be a part of SpaceX’s first non-public spaceflight this fall, serving as St. Jude’s ambassador.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — 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 Trip 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 interchange 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 stated in an interview with The Related Press. “It made me powerful, after which additionally I believe it actually taught me to anticipate the surprising and go alongside for the experience.”

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

“It’s going to imply a lot to those children to see a survivor in area,” she stated.

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

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

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

Her fast response: “Sure! Sure! Please!” However first she wished 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 protected area journey is.”

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

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

“It’s not all presupposed to be about getting folks excited to be astronauts sometime, which is definitely cool,” Isaacman, 38, stated final week. “It’s additionally presupposed to be about an inspiring message of what we will accomplish right here on Earth.”

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

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

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

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