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European Space Agency names first disabled astronaut – DW – 11/23/2022


The European Space Agency (ESA) unveiled its newest recruits on Wednesday, with two women and three men and the world’s first “parastronaut” making up the new class.

According to the ESA, no major Western agency has ever sent a “parastronaut” to space. 

The new class includes “astronauts with a physical disability” that “will start a 12-month basic training at ESA’s European Astronaut Center in spring 2023,” the agency said. 

ESA  said it appointed British Paralympic sprinter John McFall to take part in a feasibility study during astronaut training.

“It’s been quite a whirlwind experience, given that as an amputee, I’d never thought that being an astronaut was a possibility, so excitement was a huge emotion,” McFall said in an interview posted on ESA’s website.

While his…



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