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US billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of the American payment processing company Shift4Payments, revealed on Monday (22) who will be the second astronaut on board the Inspiration 4, SpaceX's first all-civil space mission.

The trip will raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a pediatric treatment and research center focused on childhood illnesses, particularly leukemia and other types of cancer.

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Isaacman, who has experience as a pilot for civil, military and experimental aircraft, is covering all costs and will be commander of the mission. One of the seats will be drawn between those who donate to the hospital, and a third among entrepreneurs who create an online store on the Shift4Payments e-commerce platform, called Shift4Shop.

The billionaire had previously said that the remaining seat would go to someone who could serve as a St. Jude ambassador. This person is Hayley Arceneaux, who at age 10 was treated for bone cancer and is now a nurse at the hospital.

At 29, Arceneaux will be the youngest American, and the first prosthesis user, to go into space. As a result of cancer, she has an artificial knee and a titanium bar replacing parts of the femur.

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In a declaration to the Associated PressArceneaux, who will be the medical officer on the mission, said: “My battle with cancer really prepared me for the trip to space. It made me stronger, and it also helped me deal with the unexpected ”.

According to Isaacman, the goal of Inspiration 4 “is not to get people excited about the possibility of becoming astronauts someday, which is certainly cool. It is an inspiring message about what we can achieve here on Earth ”.

Inspiration4 mission commander Jared Isaacman adjusts controls in a cabin
Inspiration4 mission commander Jared Isaacman. Image: SpaceX / Disclosure

“This multi-day journey, orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes along a customized flight path, will be carefully monitored at each stage by SpaceX's mission control. Upon completion of the mission, Dragon will re-enter Earth's atmosphere for a landing in calm waters off the coast of Florida, ”SpaceX said in a statement.

Inspiration4's crew will receive company astronaut training in the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft. They will undergo classes in orbital mechanics, microgravity operation, zero gravity and other forms of stress testing.

"They will undergo emergency preparedness training, exercises for entering and exiting space suits and spaceships, as well as simulations of partial and complete missions," says the company.

Source: TechCrunch