NewsNational

Actions

European Space Agency launches new class with ‘parastronaut’

It's the third generation of European astronauts.
France Diversity in Space
Posted at 7:15 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 21:25:35-05

The European Space Agency (ESA) is launching a space initiative that includes the world's first "parastronaut."

The ESA's third generation of space travelers will include an astronaut with a physical disability to be part of a crewed spaceflight feasibility project. The project will prove how humans with disabilities can operate during upcoming space trips.

The ESA's Director General Josef Aschbacher said, “This ESA astronaut class is bringing ambition, talent and diversity in many different forms, to drive our endeavors, and our future.”

Aschbacher made his comments while talking about the “continuous exploration in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station, going forward to the moon, and beyond.”

Other crew members in the ESA's third generation class will include five career astronauts along with 11 other astronauts that will be in a reserve pool, and will join an astronaut with a physical disability.

The recruits will go through 12 months of training at the European Astronaut Center located in Cologne, Germany.

John McFall of the United Kingdom is a candidate for the parastronaut feasibility study.

As Phys.org clarifies, even though Britain left the European Union after the "Brexit" period, it will continue to be a member state of the ESA.

The ESA has two other non-European Union member states, including Norway and Switzerland.