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A crew member on the SpaceX civilian launch survived cancer as a kid, and took a photo of her 10-year-old self into orbit




  • In Science
  • 2021-09-16 13:14:43Z
  • By Business Insider
An annotated picture the Inspiration4 crew sits inside a model Crew Dragon spaceship. Left to right: Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman, and Hayley Arceneaux. SpaceX/Insider
An annotated picture the Inspiration4 crew sits inside a model Crew Dragon spaceship. Left to right: Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman, and Hayley Arceneaux. SpaceX/Insider  
  • A member of SpaceX's all-civilian crew took a picture of her 10-year-old self to space.

  • Hayley Arceneaux is a cancer survivor, she had bone cancer as a kid.

  • She said she hopes the picture will show children receiving cancer treatments that "there is a future."

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

One of the crew launched into orbit by SpaceX said the possession she chose to take with her to space was a photo showing her as a child going through cancer.

Hayley Arceneaux is one of the amateur astronauts who blasted off Wednesday on the Inspiration4 mission. Her regular job is as a physician in Tennessee.

Arceneaux recovered from bone cancer in her childhood and said it was part of her motivation in joining the crew.

She said she would take a photo of herself aged 10 into space to show "all my patients, all these kids going through cancer treatments around the world that there is a future that it gets better."

The remark was in a video released on the Inspiration4 Twitter channel on Wednesday:

The picture was taken when she was 10 years old and battling bone cancer at St. Jude Children Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Arceneaux is now a physician assistant working at St. Jude. She joined a group of civilians on the Inspiration4 mission that launched into Earth's orbit at 8:02 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

She shared a shot of the picture in the tweet below.

Arceneaux is representing her employer on the Inspiration4 mission, Insider previously reported. St. Jude received about $130 million from fundraising efforts connected to the mission, per The New York Times.

At 29 years old, she is the youngest American and also the first person with a prosthetic body part to go to space Insider previously reported. (Metal rods replace parts of the bones on her left leg.)

In an interview with Insider's Morgan McFall-Johnsen, Arceneaux previously said she wants to video-chat with her cancer patients while she is on board.

The SpaceX Inspiration4 crew received five months of training before launching into space, far less than conventional astronauts.

The Falcon9 rocket that carried the Inspiration4 crew successfully reached the Earth's orbit on Wednesday. A recording of the launch stream can be found here.

The crew will orbit the Earth for three days before coming back into orbit and splashing down off the coast of Florida.

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