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Who will become the first astronaut with a physical disability?


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The first astronaut—or astronauts—with a physical disability could be announced as soon as Wednesday, according to the European Space Agency.

People with physical disabilities have previously been excluded from one of the most exclusive and demanding jobs on Earth—and beyond—due to strict selection requirements.

Guillaume Weerts, the ESA's head of space medicine, told AFP that the agency's "parastronaut project" required "a complete change in philosophy" about the concept of medical aptitude, which originally came from the military and the selection of fighter pilots.

After carrying out a feasibility study, the ESA said potential candidates could include people who have deficiencies in their lower limbs, whether from amputation or congenital defects.

Continued:

https://phys.org/news/2022-11-history-parastronaut.html

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A disabled British man has been chosen for astronaut training by Europe's space agency, a world first.

John McFall, 41, joined 16 men and women selected for the European Space Agency's (Esa) first new class of astronauts in 13 years.

His right leg was amputated after a motorcycle crash when he was 19. He became a professional athlete and represented Team GB at the Paralympics.

Another British woman, Rosemary Coogan, was selected as a career astronaut.

Esa said it wanted to widen the definition of what it means to have "the right stuff" to go into space.

This announcement does not mean McFall is guaranteed to go into orbit. Instead, he will be part of a feasibility programme to see what the requirements would be for that to be possible.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63730022

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