Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Inspiration4

Later this year, Hayley Arceneaux — a childhood cancer survivor and physician assistant at St. Jude — is expected to launch to orbit for the first all-civilian mission to space.

Why it matters: Arceneaux represents a new kind of astronaut, one who didn't train for years to live in space but instead is making the most of the opportunities afforded by the budding private spaceflight industry.

Catch up quick: The mission — named Inspiration4 — is being put together by businessman Jared Isaacman, in part, as a way to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

  • Arceneaux and Isaacman along with two other yet-to-be-chosen crew members are expected to launch to space using a SpaceX capsule and rocket in the fourth quarter of the year.
  • One passenger will be chosen via raffle, and the fourth will be the winner of a competition for entrepreneurs using Isaacman's Shift4 Payments platform.

Details: While Arceneaux didn't focus her life's work toward going to space, she has always been adventurous, according to her mom, Colleen Arceneaux.

  • Since her treatment as a kid at St. Jude, "she's always had a sense of live life now because there are no promises of the future," Colleen said.
  • Arceneaux is planning to speak with kids at St. Jude while she's in space and hopes to share her journey with them.
  • "You're so focused on your appointments that day, the medicines that you have to take that day, that sometimes it can be hard to look at the future, but I think it's really important," Arceneaux told me. "And I think it's going to be so meaningful for these kids."
    • "I think she's going to do a great job inspiring people for things that may have absolutely nothing to do with space and rockets but just overcoming adversity in life," Isaacman told me.

1 fun thing: Isaacman shared a list of space-themed movies and TV shows for Arceneaux to watch before heading to space, including Disney Plus' "The Right Stuff" and "Battlestar Galactica."

  • For her part, Colleen Arceneaux has been watching media suggested by her son — an aerospace engineer — including a documentary about astronaut Scott Kelly's year in space.

Go deeper: The story behind the first all-civilian space flight (Axios Re:Cap podcast)

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Feb 22, 2021 - Science

Childhood cancer survivor named 2nd crew member for all-civilian mission to space

Hayley Arceneaux in front of a SpaceX rocket. Photo: Inspiration4

St. Jude physician assistant and childhood cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux has been selected as the second crew member for an all-civilian mission to space expected to launch later this year.

Why it matters: The mission is a marker of a new age of commercial spaceflight, one in which private citizens and companies are able to go to space without government backing.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Feb 22, 2021 - Podcasts

The story behind the first all-civilian space flight

Hayley Arceneaux, a 29 year-old physician's assistant and childhood cancer survivor, today was named the second crew member for Inspiration4, which is set to be the first-ever all-civilian space flight.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the story behind the flight, Arceneaux's selection and what Inspiration4 means for the future of space tourism, with Axios Space editor Miriam Kramer.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Feb 23, 2021 - Science

The new "Right Stuff"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Space travel experts are advocating for people with disabilities to be eligible to fly to orbit and beyond.

Why it matters: Long-held beliefs about who is best suited for space travel have limited the industry and those it inspires. Widening the scope of who is considered fit for spaceflight could help invite more people to be invested in the future of humanity in space.