Louisiana Native Set to Become Youngest American in Space
Space is opening up. Sure, we're not quite at the everyone-has-a-house-in-space level of futuristic living sci-fi promised us just yet - but more and more civilians are breaking free of gravity's surly bonds thanks to privatized rocket companies like Virgin Galactic and SpaceX.
Now a Louisiana native is poised to become the youngest American to ever go into space thanks to a billionaire's contest to find traveling companions on a rocket. According to to a report from BRProud, 29-year old Hayley Arceneaux already has her seat. Once this physician's assistant crosses the Kármán line (100km/62 miles) above sea level, she will beat the previous youngest-American-in-space record currently held by NASA Astronaut Sally Ride by more than 2 years!
Hayley will also set a brand new space record by being the first person with a prosthesis in outer space. Arceneaux is a bone cancer survivor, and at just 10 years old she had to have her knee replaced. She also has a titanium rod in her left thigh bone. Although it does become painful from time to time and has left her with a slight limp - she has been cleared for spaceflight!
2 other yet-to-be-named people will be joining Hayley and entrepreneur Jared Isaacman, who is financing the entire mission at an undisclosed cost. Isaacman says it's all part of a plan to raise $200 million for St.Jude's. It only makes sense that he offered the first seat (not counting his own) to the organization.
The hospital named Hayley as their representative as she was a patient that returned as a healthcare worker to help those in need just as she was. Arceneaux will serve as the crews chief medical officer.
There are 2 more seats to fill, and reportedly one will be selected randomly from folks who donate to St. Jude's. The other will be randomly selected from a list of clients that use Isaacman's credit card processing company. The final crew lineup will be announced next month, and the SpaceX rocket is set for liftoff in October.