Europe announces name of world's first disabled astronauts

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Europe announces name of world's

The European Space Agency announced the name of the first "parastronaut" on 23 November in a major step towards allowing people with physical disabilities to work and live in space.

Important facts

  • The 22-nation European Space Agency said it selected former British Paralympic runner John McFall as part of a new generation of 17 recruits selected for astronaut training.

  • He will participate in a feasibility study designed to allow ESA to assess the conditions needed for people with disabilities to participate in future missions.

  • Five new astronauts have been roped in to take part in the training after ESA replenished its astronaut ranks for the first time since 2009.

  • The EAS received 257 applications for the role of an astronaut with a disability, designated a "parastronaut".

  • McFall, who lost his right leg due to a motorcycle accident at the age of 19, won a bronze medal in the 100 metres at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games.

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