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Transforming Space: Recruiting the World’s First Parastronauts

As the European Space Agency opens its call for new astronauts to candidates with a physical disability, our panel of experts discussed what an inclusive approach to human spaceflight might look like.

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In a world first for human spaceflight, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced earlier this year that its first call for new astronauts in more than a decade will be open to candidates with a physical disability. So, what does an inclusive approach to human spaceflight look like?

In this very special free online event, a panel of experts from ESA discussed the recruitment and training programme required for its new parastronauts, the benefits and challenges of creating a more diverse workforce in space research, and what needs to be done to make STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) more accessible.

As we look to the future of our work in orbit and beyond, both STEM and space should be for everyone. This panel revealed more about the work happening right now to make space a more equitable place.

Speakers include:

  • David Parker: Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration, European Space Agency 
  • Guillaume Weerts: Head of Space Medicine, European Space Agency 
  • Lucy van der Tas: Head of Talent Acquisition, European Space Agency
  • Emily Rose Yates (Chair): Accessibility consultant and journalist who has presented several documentaries for the BBC and written for the Guardian, the Independent and Telegraph Travel

Main image courtesy of the European Space Agency.