Voice Cyprus News
FeaturedWorld

A taste of space with world’s first disabled astronaut, John McFall


 

John McFall is the European Space Agency’s first ever para-astronaut, selected to study how feasible it is for someone with a physical disability to live and work in space. BBC News joined him on board a parabolic flight, where he experienced weightlessness for the first time.
One minute John McFall is lying on the floor of a plane. The next, he starts to float upwards, still horizontal, seemingly levitating towards the ceiling.
He looks astonished – everyone on this far-from-normal flight does, as they slowly rise into the air. The sensation of being weightless, no longer pinned down by gravity, is extraordinary.
A smile begins to form across John’s face – he starts laughing. “It’s brilliant, it’s amazing,” he says.

John is an astronaut candidate with a difference – he’s an amputee. When he was 19 he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident, and now uses a high-tech prosthesis.
He has now been recruited by the European Space Agency (Esa) to take part in a ground-breaking study assessing how to make spaceflight accessible to people with physical disabilities.
“I saw that the European Space Agency had announced that they were looking for an astronaut with a physical disability,” he says, “and I looked at the person specification and thought, ‘Wow, that’s me – I would love to give that a go’.”
John’s used to pushing himself to the limit. After losing his leg and learning to walk again with a prosthesis, he took up running – for fun at first, then competitively. He went on to win a bronze medal in the 100m final at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
He then decided to become a doctor and is currently working as a trauma and orthopaedic registrar in Hampshire, but he’s had to pause his medical career – the opportunity to work with Esa was too good to turn down.
“I’m very much following my heart and I’m following my curiosity,” he explains, “and I’m following my passion for science and life.”

( Source BBC)

Related Posts
Putin promises to back North Korea in its position with the US

On Tuesday, as Vladimir Putin travelled to the nuclear-armed nation of North Korea for the first time in twenty-four years, Read more

Outdated rules for housing aid for refugees result in 25% of applications being denied

The House refugee committee heard testimony on Tuesday that the Displaced Persons Care and Rehabilitation Service rejects one-fourth of its Read more


Related posts

Activists protest at British base in Cyprus used in Yemen strikes

Reuters

8 year old is the only survivor after 45 people killing in bus crash

AP

Christiana Xenophontos: Young people and women need to be represented

TC leader Tatar meets with US Turkish community rep.

Holguin is expected to arrive on the island tomorrow

More rain expected until Monday!

Voice İnternational