This week, Baton Rouge native Hayley Arceneaux, 29, is poised to become the youngest American ever to go to space. Also a first is that Arceneaux is headed to orbit after having survived cancer at age 10—she'll be the first person in space with a prosthetic , as her cancer treatment required bones in her left leg to be replaced with rods. Hopefully, she won't be the last, as both government and private space missions begin to seek out astronauts with differing abilities. Advertisement Sci-fi literature and cinema have long used the trope of starting new colonies on another planet, and the disabled are always left behind while the healthy and those perceived as more capable go off to explore and have adventures. In sci-fi, the absence of the disabled is often accepted as fact—that's how deep-routed ableism is. But now that trope of space colonies without the disabled is about to be no more, so writers are going to have to reimagine the stories they tell and the worlds they create. One of the arguments for not having the disabled depicted in space is that "artificial intelligence will remedy every medical issue in the future." What's flummoxing about this… Read full this story
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