Cancer survivor to be the youngest American in space, first with prosthetic body part


A former patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who survived bone cancer will become the youngest American to travel to space and the first to do so with a prosthetic limb when she joins a SpaceX civilian flight later this year.

In a press release from the hospital, the head of St. Jude’s fundraising arm said that Hayley Arceneaux, 29, will join billionaire Jared Isaacman for the Inspiration 4 flight due to launch no later than the fourth quarter.

“Haley radiates light and hope and has always been a big inspiration to anyone who meets her, including me,” Richard Shadyac Jr. said in a statement.

Isaacman confirmed the selection on Twitter, writing that Arceneaux, who was treated at St. Jude’s nearly 20 years ago for bone cancer in her leg before going on to become a physician assistant, would be an inspiration to “all people who need hope when encountering life challenges.”

The space flight is set to be the first made up entirely of private citizens and comes as part of a charity initiative between SpaceX and St. Jude.

Isaacman donated $100 million to the hospital as well as two seats on the flight as part of his contribution.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said earlier this month that his company’s top priority for the mission would be ensuring the crew’s safety.

“Any mission where there’s a crew onboard makes me nervous,” he told NBC News. “The risk is not zero.”

Tags Elon Musk Jared Isaacman Spaceflight SpaceX SpaceX Inspiration4 St. Jude Children's Research Hospital St. Jude's

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