Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian mission to space, has announced its second crew member, Hayley Arceneaux of Memphis, TN, a 29-year-old physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® who was treated as a child for bone cancer at St. Jude. Arceneaux joins Inspiration4 mission commander Jared Isaacman. She will occupy the mission seat representing Hope.
“It’s an incredible honor 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,” said Arceneaux. “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 traveling around the world. It’s incredible to be a part of this mission that is not only raising crucial funds for the lifesaving work of St. Jude but also introducing new supporters to the mission.”
Isaacman, the 38-year-old founder and chief executive officer 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 recognizes 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. “As I’ve spent time with Hayley in the earliest days of mission prep, she’s everything we want our team to represent – she’s interested in the world around her, devoted to caring for others and hopeful for a better future for all of us. She already inspires me, and I’m certain she’ll inspire many others as they get to know her in the course of our mission.”
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.
“It has been a personal honor to watch Hayley grow up and fulfill her dreams. As a patient, an intern at ALSAC, and then in the Pediatric Oncology Education program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, she was always a rising star,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. “From the beginning, St. Jude has been at the forefront of innovation and inclusion, leading in cancer research, and treatment for some of the world’s sickest children regardless of race, ethnicity, or a family’s ability to pay, so that children like Hayley can live full, healthy and awe-inspiring lives. She will be an incredible ambassador through this mission and inspiration to children fighting cancer and survivors worldwide.”
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.
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 reenter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida.
The remaining two seats representing Generosity and Prosperity are available to the general public through February 28, with details available at the mission website, Inspiration4.com.