British paralympian heading in the right direction to be Europe’s first disabled astronaut

A British Paralympian might quickly be Europe’s first disabled astronaut.

John McFall, who took the bronze medal within the Males’s T42 100m dash on the 2008 Beijing Video games, has been chosen for the European House Company’s (ESA) astronaut coaching corps.

The 41-year-old mentioned the programme was an “inspiring and exhilarating alternative” and praised the ESA for opening their search to a disabled candidate.

Requested what made him apply, Mr McFall mentioned he “felt compelled to attempt to assist ESA reply this query ‘can we get somebody with a bodily incapacity to do significant work in area?’”

The Surrey man, who misplaced his proper leg in a bike accident aged 19, was picked out of a area of greater than 22,500 candidates and will probably be joined by British astronomer Rosemary Coogan. She is amongst six profession astronauts to hitch the ESA workforce as everlasting workers members.

In the meantime, Meganne Christian, who was born within the UK and studied in Australia, will develop into a member of the ESA’s astronaut reserve.

The three have been pictured collectively on the ESA Class of 2022 announcement ceremony within the Grand Palais Ephemere in Paris.

New recruits: Meganne Christian, left, John McFall and Rosemary Coogan are unveiled in Paris


Dr Paul Bate, chief government of the UK House Company, mentioned: “This can be a momentous day for the UK House Company, our area sector and the nation as a complete.

“Via our funding within the European House Company, the UK is taking part in a number one position in area exploration and collaborating with worldwide companions to make use of the distinctive vantage level of area to learn life on Earth.”

“House has an unimaginable energy to encourage and I’m certain Rosemary, John and Meganne will develop into heroes for a lot of younger folks and encourage them to shoot for the celebrities.

McFall within the Males’s T42 100m last on the 2008 Beijing Paralympics beside Japan’s Atsushi Yamamoto


“It’s additionally necessary to do not forget that, behind each astronaut, there’s a devoted staff of individuals, together with within the UK, working behind the scenes to attain the unimaginable.”

The UK entered 2,000 candidates this yr, the third largest nationwide determine after France (7,087) and Germany (3,695).

Simply 17 candidates have been profitable within the ESA’s first name for astronauts since 2008, when Tim Peake grew to become the primary British astronaut to be a part of the ESA corps.

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