Space explorationThe para-athlete was chosen as the first paraplegic in space
Britain’s John McPaul, bronze medalist at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, joined the European Space Agency as a “paraastronaut” in a commercial on Wednesday.
John McFall, a British doctor and former Paralympic champion, was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) on Wednesday to join him. training program, With the goal of becoming the first disabled person to go into space. This 41-year-old man will participate in the “Parastronavt” exercise. The project aims to examine the challenge of sending a disabled astronaut into space and find solutions to overcome it.
“When it was announced that ESA was looking for a candidate with a physical disability, I thought it was a great opportunity,” John McFall said Wednesday during a presentation to the new class of astronauts. “With my scientific background and my different experiences, I felt that I should try to help ESA answer the question: Can a person with a physical disability do meaningful work in space?” He continued.
Amputated at age 19 after a word accident
Britain’s right leg was amputated in a motorcycle accident at the age of 19. He later had to give up his ambition to join the army, but became a professional athlete, winning a bronze medal in the sprint at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.
John McPaul began medical school at the age of 28 and specialized in orthopedic trauma medicine. He graduated in 2014. Along with her studies, she was involved in a program to support future Paralympic athletes, and she worked for the organization of the Paralympic Games in London in 2012. He practices as a doctor in the south of England.
“Science is common to all”
Married, father of three, he cites guitar and travel as his hobbies. He said he was “incredibly honored and excited” to be selected. “It was like a whirlwind because, being an amputee, I never thought it was possible to become an astronaut,” he says. “The message I want to give to future generations is that science is for everyone and space travel can be for everyone.”
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