Inspiration4 astronaut shares ‘lift-off’ moment in new book

A new book about SpaceX’s all-civilian Inspiration4 mission chronicles the emotional journey that took one of its astronauts into space.

Hayley Arceneaux’s memoir on Inspiration4, titled “Wild Ride: A Memoir of IV Drips and Rocket Ships (opens in a new tab)“, was published by Convergent Books on Tuesday (September 6).

In the book, Arceneaux shares the moment she learned she would be flying with SpaceX. It came via two vice presidents at St. Jude’s Research Hospital in Memphis, where she was treated for cancer as a child and where she works today as a medical assistant.

She recalls the VP of People asking her to “talk to you about something really important,” then turning to the VP of Fundraising and asking, “Do you want to take this? Do you want to take off?”

Arceneaux recalled his reaction: “I said the words to myself: ‘Take off? “”

Related: Inspiration4: SpaceX’s historic private spaceflight in photos

Inspiration4 was a unique mission in Earth orbit, funded and commanded by billionaire Jared Isaacman. Two of the other three seats aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule were awarded through contests, and the third was reserved for someone (Arceneaux, it turned out) representing St. Jude’s.

Isaacman’s main goal was to raise money for St. Jude’s, and within six months publicity for the mission generated $250 million. (Isaacman will return to space via the Polaris program, beginning with Polaris Dawn no earlier than late 2022.)

The three-day Inspiration4 mission lifted off in September 2021. Isaacman, Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski flew higher than the International Space Station to do science, work for St. Jude in orbit and enjoy a new cupola . window inside the Dragon spacecraft, which offered a 360-degree view of Earth.

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Arceneaux explains in her memoirs that, for 20 years, she has devoted herself to the Saint-Jude mission.

“I will do anything I can for this place. When they call me, I say ‘Yes.’ And they call me often. I’ve been giving speeches for St. Jude since I was 10,” says- she.

The veteran traveler says she was amazed when she tried on the custom SpaceX spacesuit for the first time: “I’m not a superhero and this isn’t a movie, but I’m going to wear this hell of a combination,” she wrote. .

Arceneaux is the youngest person to orbit the Earth, the first childhood cancer survivor to reach space and the first person to fly in space with a prosthetic piece, according to Inspiration4 materials.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) and on Facebook.

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