San Francisco, Feb 23 | Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the US will be the second crew member of Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space, SpaceX has announced.
Arceneaux, who was treated as a child for bone cancer at St. Jude., joins Inspiration4 mission commander Jared Isaacman, Inspiration4 said on Monday.
She will occupy the mission seat representing Hope.
“It’s an incredible honour to join the Inspiration4 crew. This seat represents the hope that St. Jude gave me – and continues to give families from around the world, who, like me, find hope when they walk through the doors of St. Jude,” Arceneaux said in a statement.
“When I was just 10 years old, St. Jude gave me the opportunity to grow up. Now I am fulfilling my dreams of working at the research hospital and travelling around the world.”
The mission is being targeted for the fourth quarter of this year.
Arceneaux, Isaacman and the Inspiration4 crew will undergo commercial astronaut training by SpaceX on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft, including a specific focus on orbital mechanics, operating in microgravity, zero gravity, and other forms of stress testing.
They will receive emergency preparedness training, spacesuit and spacecraft ingress and egress exercises, as well as partial- and full-mission simulations. The mission will launch from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and will be carefully monitored at every step by SpaceX mission control as the spacecraft orbits the planet every 90 minutes along a customized flight path.
Upon conclusion of the multi-day journey, Dragon will re-enter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.
Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments and an accomplished pilot, donated two of the four seats on Inspiration4 to St. Jude, including the seat filled by Arceneaux.
The mission name Inspiration4 recognises the four-person crew’s purpose — to send a humanitarian message of possibility and inspire support for St. Jude — and represents the pillars of Leadership, Hope, Generosity and Prosperity.
“Assembling a unique and diverse crew whose personal stories and values will inspire people everywhere is at the heart of the Inspiration4 mission,” said Isaacman.
Isaacman has committed to give $100 million to St. Jude and is inviting everyone to join him in support of St. Jude’s multi-billion dollar expansion designed to accelerate research advancements and save more children worldwide.
The fundraising effort will continue through the mission launch later this year.
The remaining two seats representing Generosity and Prosperity are available to the general public through February 28, with details available at the mission website.