British Paralympian John McFall becomes ESA’s first disabled astronaut | UK News

A Briton will become the European Space Agency’s first disabled astronaut.

John McFaul, from Frimley, Surrey, has been chosen ESA Join its training program and possibly become the first disabled person in space.

The 41-year-old lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident at the age of 19 and went on to represent Great Britain at the Paralympics.

According to ESA, no major Western space agency has ever sent a “quasi-astronaut” into space.

Mr McFaul will join a space training corps to see if he can become the first disabled person in space.

British astronomer Rosemary Coogan has also been named to the new cohort.

Ms Coogan holds two Masters degrees from the University of Durham and a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Sussex.

Rosemary Coogan
Rosemary Coogan

Mr McFall and Ms Coogan are among more than 22,500 candidates who applied, a list that includes more women than ever before and about 200 people with disabilities.

Shortlisted candidates have undergone rigorous screening over the past year.

ESA is specifically looking for people with physical difficulties in an unprecedented effort to determine what adjustments are needed to accommodate them on the space station.

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