The world’s first “parastronaut” was the British father of three children, John McFall.

It was announced that the world’s first “parastronaut” was John McFall – a British father of three children, a trainee surgeon and winner of the Paralympic Games.

Mr McFall lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident when he was 19 but learned to run again and eventually became a professional sprinter.

He won bronze at the 2008 Paralympics. Beijingbefore retiring to continue his medical studies at Cardiff University.

Today it has been selected to participate in the European Space Agency (ESA) Parastronaut Feasibility Project.

That doesn’t mean Mr. McFall is guaranteed to go into orbit – instead, he’ll be part of a scheme to see what the requirements will be for it to be possible.

Today, 41-year-old John McFall (pictured) was selected to participate in a feasibility study for the European Space Agency (ESA) paraastronauts.

The 41-year-old man said: “When the ad for a disabled astronaut came out, I read the description of the person and what that entailed and thought, ‘Wow, this is such a huge, exciting opportunity.

“I thought I would be a very good candidate to help ESA answer the question they were asking; can we send a physically disabled person into space?”

ESA today announced its first new group of 17 male and female astronauts in nearly 15 years.

The successful candidates were selected from a whopping 22,523 applicants, including three Britons who hope to follow in the footsteps of current British astronaut Tim Peake.

Mr. McFall is one of them, and he was selected from 257 physically challenged applicants to become the first ever paraastronaut.

As a teenager, he dreamed of joining the military, but those dreams were put on hold when he was killed in a motorcycle accident while traveling in Koh Samui, Thailand, in 2000.

The damage to his right leg was so severe that doctors had to remove it.

“I returned to the UK with five fingers smaller than I left and with a piece of the right tibia and fibula in a formalin jar. A real souvenir! he said British Orthopedic Association (BOA).

After graduating in 2004, Frimley's McFall went on to become a professional athlete, representing the UK and Northern Ireland on the international stage.

After graduating in 2004, Frimley’s McFall went on to become a professional athlete, representing the UK and Northern Ireland on the international stage.

Mr. McFall ended his incredible sporting career at the top by winning the bronze medal in the 100m at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.

Mr. McFall ended his incredible sporting career at the top by winning the bronze medal in the 100m at the 2008 Summer Paralympics.

The following year, he began studying to earn a degree in exercise from Swansea University, and that’s when he relearned how to run.

“It wasn’t very pretty,” Mr McFall told BOA.

“Running on a prosthetic knee and foot designed primarily for walking requires you to be completely dedicated – you really have to put in a lot of effort to do something like that.”

On several occasions, the hydraulic cylinder in his prosthetic arm exploded and spattered oil heavily on him and the track.

Later, he was introduced to carbon fiber running blades, and he cried when he used them for the first time as it allowed him to “remember what running is,” he told BOA.

After graduating in 2004, the Frimley native became a professional athlete representing the UK and Northern Ireland on the international stage.

He won gold in the 100m and 200m at the 2007 IWAS World Games for Wheelchair Users and Amputees and also became the 200m Paralympic World Cup Champion.

Mr. McFall ended his incredible sporting career at the top by winning the bronze medal in the 100m at the 2008 Summer Paralympics with a time of 13.08 seconds.

After that, he decided that he needed to find a “decent job”, and at the age of 28 he entered the Medical School of Cardiff University.

Mr. McFall's choice was announced today at the close of the ESA Council of Ministers meeting in Paris.  Pictured: members of ESA's new class of astronauts Megan Christian, John McFall and Rosemary Coogan.

Mr. McFall’s choice was announced today at the close of the ESA Council of Ministers meeting in Paris. Pictured: members of ESA’s new class of astronauts Megan Christian, John McFall and Rosemary Coogan.

PARASTRONATUS AND ESA

People with disabilities were previously excluded from one of the most exclusive and demanding jobs on earth – and beyond – due to strict eligibility requirements.

But after conducting a feasibility study, the ESA said potential candidates could include people with lower limb defects, whether from amputations or birth defects.

Tim Peake says he “wouldn’t have any reservations if he went into space with someone with a disability”.

European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said we “didn’t evolve to be in space.”

She said we are “all handicapped in space” and it’s just a case of technology improving to accept candidates who would otherwise be selected as astronauts if not for the handicap.

In 2012, in addition to studying medicine, he became a mentor to future Paralympic athletes as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Program and was an ambassador for the London Paralympic Games.

Two years after graduation, he worked as a founding physician for the NHS in a range of medical and surgical specialties in South East Wales.

He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2016 and is currently the Registrar of Trauma and Orthopedics based in the South of England.

Mr McFall is married with three young children, nine, eight and five years old, all living in the south of the UK.

Early last year, he saw an ESA ad saying they were looking for a candidate with a disability and said he was “forced to apply.”

His choice was announced today at the close of the ESA Council of Ministers meeting in Paris.

Mr McFall said: “I was incredibly excited and proud of myself to have gone through the selection process.

“As an amputee, I never thought I would be an astronaut.

As the first group of physically disabled astronauts, we not only have to go through astronaut training, but we also have to go through astronaut training and figure out what makes having a physical disability difficult and overcome those obstacles.

I am very happy to use the skills I have to solve problems, identify problems and overcome obstacles that allow people with disabilities to perform work on an equal basis with their able-bodied colleagues.

“I think the message I would like to convey to future generations is that science is for everyone and hopefully space travel can be for everyone.”

Today, the European Space Agency unveiled its new class of astronauts.

Today, the European Space Agency unveiled its new class of astronauts.

Minister for Space in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy George Freeman said: “Today’s announcement of ESA’s next recruitment of British astronauts is a sign of international respect for both British astronaut scientists and the UK’s commitment to space for all.

“Just as sport is the ultimate testing ground for human effort on land, space is the ultimate testing ground for science and technology.

“Just as the London 2012 Paralympic Games changed the global profile of the Paralympic Games, space is the perfect medium to demonstrate our commitment to the values ​​of collaborative effort for the benefit of humanity and the planet.”

People with disabilities were previously excluded from one of the most exclusive and demanding jobs on earth – and beyond – due to strict eligibility requirements.

But after conducting a feasibility study, the ESA said potential candidates could include people with lower limb defects, whether from amputations or birth defects.

ESA’s new professional astronauts will begin work at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany.

After completing 12 months of basic training, new astronauts will be ready to begin the next phase of training on the space station, and once assigned to a mission, their training will be tailored to the specific tasks of the mission.

Mr. McFall’s involvement will allow ESA to figure out what needs to change to enable people with disabilities to fly safely.

They will first fly to the ISS, but may eventually go to the Moon or even further.

ESA has provided three astronaut trips to the Lunar Gate, which is to be built in orbit around the Moon, and hopes to be able to send Europeans to the surface of our natural satellite in the future.

WHO CREATED THE NEW ESA ASTRONAUT COHORT?

Astronaut career

  • Rosemary Coogan – UK
  • Sophie Adeno – France
  • Pablo Alvarez Fernandez – Spain
  • Raphael Liegeois – Belgium
  • Marco Sieber – Switzerland

Cosmonauts-reservists

  • Megan Christian – UK
  • Nicola Winter – Germany
  • Markus Wandt – Sweden
  • Antea Comellini – Italy
  • Sara Garcia Alonso – Spain
  • Andrea Patassa – Italy
  • Carmen Possnig – Austria
  • Arnaud Prost – France
  • Amelie Schönenwald – Germany
  • Alesh Svoboda – Czech Republic
  • Slavos Uznanski – Poland

Disabled astronaut