Cape Canaveral (Florida) – When she was ten years old, Hayley Arceneaux had a titanium rod operated on her left femur to replace her knee. Bone cancer! Now she is 29 years old – and is preparing for a space flight.
The stars within reach!
The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee has now announced that the 29-year-old medical assistant and former patient will take off into space next to billionaire Jared Isaacman, 38, in the fall of 2021. The entrepreneur had bought the first private flight from Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX.
Hayley Arceneaux will then be the youngest American in space. And she will be the first to start with a prosthesis. Because of her cancer and surgery, Hayley is still limping and occasionally suffering from leg pain. Nevertheless, it was set up by SpaceX for the flight – as a “medical officer”, i.e. to provide medical support for the crew.
“My battle with cancer really prepared me for space travel,” Hayley Arceneaux told The Associated Press. “He made me tough, but I also think he taught me to expect the unexpected and to go on the journey.”
Hayley also shares a very personal mission with spaceflight: to show her young patients and other cancer survivors that “the sky is no longer the limit. It will mean so much to these children to see a survivor in space, ”she said.
A very special mission
For the first time, four people will fly into space with the SpaceX capsule whose profession is not space travel. The entrepreneur Isaacman had connected his announcement to a good cause: He promised to raise $ 200 million for the St. Jude Hospital, half of which he would contribute himself.
As the self-appointed commander of the flight, he offered the hospital to occupy one of the four seats in the SpaceX Dragon capsule. The choice fell on Hayley Arceneaux. The call from the clinic asking if she would represent St. Jude in space hit her “out of the blue”. And her direct answer was: “Yes! Yes! You’re welcome!'”
Billionaire Isaacman, who flies fighter jets as a hobby, thinks she’s the perfect cast: “It’s not just about getting people excited about being an astronaut one day, which is certainly cool. It should also be about an inspiring message about what we can achieve here on earth. “
The third person is being recruited for the mission through a competition. The competition is intended to bring in the second half of the 200 million for the hospital and children’s cancer research. Fourth place in the space capsule goes to one of the entrepreneurs who use Isaacman’s company’s online shop service. Additional requirements: 18 years of age and a US resident.
Potential crew members should also undergo a basic medical examination. SpaceX founder Elon Musk: “Those who don’t mind rollercoaster rides will easily survive a flight in the Dragon spaceship.”
The launch is scheduled for October at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The capsule is said to orbit the earth for two to four days. Isaacman is silent about the costs.
The entrepreneur founded loudly Business Insider 1999 the payment processing company “Shift4 Payments” and in 2011 co-founded “Draken International”. The latter has an extensive fleet of fighter jets and trains pilots for the US military.