29-year-old Hayley Arcenuco hoped that this would be the year she would complete her goal of visiting all seven continents before turning 30.
She Although there will not be time to do so.
She Space is leaving.
Ms. Arkanew, a physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, will be one of four people to lift a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Florida. It has been decided to launch later this year, it is the first crew mission to circle the Earth in which no one is a professional astronaut.
“I asked, ‘Am I going to get a passport ticket to go to space?” Ms. Arkanew said. “But I don’t think I’m leaving. So I’m going to pull a star and moon in one of my passports.”
The adventure has been carried out by 38-year-old billionaire Jared Isaacman, who announced in January that he had launched a rocket from SpaceX, launched by Elon Musk. Mr. Isakman said at the time that he wanted the mission to be more than a jaunt for superhumanity and that he had given two out of four seats to St. Jude.
One of them will go to a random winner in a sweepstake contest to raise money for the hospital, which treats children at no charge and develops treatments for childhood cancer and other diseases.
The second seat, Mr. Isaacman said, would be filled by a frontline health care worker in St. Jude, a symbol of hope.
On Monday, St. Jude officials and Mr. Isaacman revealed that Ms. Arcenuco was the person they chose.
Ms. Arkaneau may become the youngest American ever to visit Orbit. She He will also be the first person with a prosthetic body part to go into space. She About 20 years ago there was a patient in St. Jude, and as part of the treatment for bone cancer, the metal rods in his left leg replaced parts of the bones.
In the past, that would have kept him firmly on the ground, unable to meet NASA’s stringent medical standards for astronauts. But the advent of privately financed space travel has opened up the final frontier for some, who were previously excluded.
The orthopedic surgeon who installed Ms. Arknew’s prosthesis, Drs. Michael D. Neil says that although having artificial leg bones means that he cannot play contact sports on Earth, he should not limit them on this SpaceX trek.
“It shows us that the sky does not have limits,” Dr. Neil said. “It is beyond the sky and beyond. I think the real point of all this is that it has very few limitations as far as you can. Unless you play football there. “
Ms Arknew said she hopes to inspire patients in St. Jude.
“They said they would be able to see a cancer survivor in space, especially one who has gone through the same things that they have,” she said. “This is going to help them imagine their future.”
Richard C., president of ALSAC, a fund-raising organization for St. Jude. “If anyone was a symbol of the notion of hope, it was Hayley,” Shadak Jr. said of Ms. Arceneux.
Ms. Arknew did not herself discover that she would have a seat on the rocket until early January. Hospital officials told him vaguely that there was an opportunity, about which he wanted to talk to him. She She said she thought “maybe it would be a commercial or maybe a speech somewhere.”
Instead, it was an opportunity to be an astronaut.
“I also kind of laughed,” Ms. Arknew said. “I was like,” What? Yes. Yes, please, it would be amazing. ” She Then added, “Let me talk to my mother.”
His mother did not object.
In 2002, Ms. Arknew stepped into St. Jude for the first time. She 10. Some time ago, he earned his black belt in Taekwondo, but complained of pain in his leg. Her mother noticed a bulging lump on her left knee. St. Francisville, La. A pediatrician in the small town of K, where he was not far from Baton Rouge, told him that it looked like a cancerous tumor.
“We all split up,” Ms. Arkanew said. “I remember being scared just because at the age of 10, everyone I knew about cancer died.”
In St. Jude, doctors gave the good news that the cancer had not spread to other parts of his body. Ms. Arkeno went through chemotherapy, an operation to establish artificial leg bones and long sessions of physical therapy.
Even at that young age, bald with chemotherapy, Ms. Arknew was helping fund-razors for St. Jude. The following year, Louisiana Public Broadcasting awarded him one of his Young Heroes Awards.
“When I grow up, I want to be a nurse in St. Jude,” she said in a video shown at the ceremony in 2003. “I want to be a mentor for patients. When they come in, I will say, ‘When I was little, and I was doing well.’
Last year, Ms. Arcenuco was hired by St. Jude. She Works with children with leukemia and lymphoma, such as a teenage boy with whom she recently spoke.
“I shared with her that I lost my hair too,” Ms Arkanew said. “I told him: ‘You can ask me anything. I’m a former patient. I’ll tell you the truth, anything you want to know.’ And he said, ‘Will you tell the truth?’ and I said, “
His fiery question: “Are you going to space?”
Ms. Arkenko had to dodge. “I said, ‘Okay, we’ll see who gets announced.” he said. “But I think he knew because then he and his father” Yes! And high fived.
Ms. Arkanew and Mr. Issacman have visited SpaceX’s headquarters in California three times to meet with engineers and begin travel plans. Unlike missions flying to SpaceX NASA, it will not orbit an International Space Station, but will orbit the Earth for three or four days before splashing down the Florida coast.
“Mr. Isaacman said of Ms. Arkanyu,” got an adventurous spirit. ” “And now he gets to travel to the stars, which is great.”
It will still be a few weeks before they know who their partners will be.
St. Jude Sweepstakes, Promoted in a television ad aired during the Super Bowl Two weeks ago, will last until the end of the month. It has raised about $ 9.5 million so far. Mr. Isaacman seems to have committed himself to St. Jude, or an overall goal of $ 200 million, due to a $ 100 million shortfall. But Mr. Isaacman and Mr. Shadack said the fund-raising effort would go beyond the sweepstakes and they were pleased with the progress.
“This is going to be a campaign that is going to expand all the way until launch,” Mr. Shadack said.
The sweepstakes are structured in a way that effectively limits the size of the donation. One entry is free. A minimum donation of $ 10 buys 100 entries, and every additional dollar donated buys 10 more entries, up to $ 1,000 for 10,000 entries.
Some premier options were available that have now been sold. For example, Mr. Isaacman would give a donor, who contributed $ 100,000 for a ride in a Russian-made MiG-29 jet fighter. The donor will also receive a visit to see the launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But that donor still has just 10,000 entries in the sweepstakes, the one that donated $ 1,000.
Mr. Isakmann said that it was a deliberate choice to prevent a rich man from trying to snap the grand prize of a trip to space by purchasing millions of entries.
“Is it representing all the people of the earth and not just the rich?” Isaacman said.
The fourth SpaceX seat will go to the winner of a contest sponsored by Mr. Isaacman’s company Shift4, which sells credit-card-processing terminals and point-of-sale systems for restaurants and other businesses. Competitions like “Shark Tank” called entrepreneurs to design an online store using Shift4’s software and then posted a video on Twitter describing their business.
As of last week, fewer than 100 people had submitted entire entries. “It means that if you had built a shop of Shift4 and entered it, you have got a lot of amazing possibilities,” Mr. Isakmann said.
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