SpaceX will launch the first all-civilian flight to space in Autumn this year. The mission, known as Inspiration4, is funded by Shift4Payments founder Jared Isaacman to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He donated $100 million to St. Jude and hopes to fundraise an additional $100 million for the hospital that helps children fight cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Isaacman is inviting the public on his space adventure, two seats aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft are open for the general public. The four Inspiration4 crewmembers will embody some of the best traits of humanity: Leadership, Hope, Generosity, and Prosperity. Isaacman will represent ‘Leadership’ as mission commander. If you have ever dreamt of going to space the 'Generosity' seat will be raffled to the public! You can participate by donating to St. Jude via Inspiration4.com. The winner will be announced in six days, on February 28. The ‘Prosperity’ seat is open for an entrepreneur who launches a Shift4Shop website. “Make a web page ... record a video and you share it on social media and you tell the world about your business idea… why it should be elevated to the stars, how you’re going to make a difference,” Isaacman said. A panel of judges will select who the contest winner is in mid-March.
Today, February 22nd, Isaacman revealed the crewmember that will represent ‘Hope’ during the Inspiration4 mission -“Meet commercial astronaut Hayley Arceneaux. She is an amazing person & I know she will be an inspiration to people all over the 🌍 [world]. Not just those w/[with] dreams of going to 🚀 [space], but to all people who need hope when encountering life challenges. Hayley, welcome to Inspiration4,” he announced via Twitter. Hayley Arceneaux is a former St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital patient who survived Osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that causes tumors around bones, when she was 10 years old. She now works as a physician assistant in the oncology unit at the hospital. At 29-years-old she will become the youngest American ever to visit space, embodying ‘Hope’ during the first all-civilian mission.
Meet commercial astronaut Hayley Arceneaux. She is an amazing person & I know she will be an inspiration to people all over the 🌍. Not just those w/ dreams of going to 🚀, but to all people who need hope when encountering life challenges . Hayley, welcome to @inspiration4x pic.twitter.com/t02LFuU7mm— Jared Isaacman (@rookisaacman) February 22, 2021
During an interview with NBC ‘Today’ show, Arceneaux shared she feels prepared for the mission –“Honestly, I'm not nervous at all… And I think that my cancer journey prepared me for this.” She hopes to inspire the children at St. Jude through the Inspiration4 flight in which she will serve as the crew's medical officer. “I really hope to show them that the sky's not even the limit. That they can do anything. I never thought I'd be able to go to space, and really until this mission, you had to be physically perfect,” she said, “And this mission is changing things and getting to be a cancer survivor in space is such an incredible honor, and I can't wait to talk to my patients about this and just to show them that they can't limit themselves because they can really do anything.” You can watch Arceneaux's full interview in the videos below.
All Images Source: Jared Isaacman and Inspiration4 via Twitter.
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About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.