Capitalism in space: Jared Isaacman, who has purchased an entire Dragon/Falcon 9 flight for the first private commercial manned mission scheduled for later this year, has picked the flight’s second passenger.
The second member of a four-person crew for what’s likely to be the first privately funded orbital space tour has been identified: She’s Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant who works at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. — and was successfully treated for bone cancer at St. Jude almost two decades ago.
Arceneaux was invited to be part of the Inspiration4 mission weeks ago by its commander and principal funder, Shift4 Payments CEO and founder Jared Isaacman — but her identity was kept secret until today.
This choice fits Isaacman’s main goal, which is to use the publicity of the flight in raise money for St. Jude’s. So far almost $10 million has been raised.
Two more passengers need to be chosen. One will be picked from a lottery of people who donate to St. Jude’s, with the second being an entrepreneur picked by a panel of judges. The deadline to enter both slots closes on February 28th.
As for the flight itself, it will spend two to four days in orbit.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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