European Space Agency astronauts – including Britain’s newest female spaceman – begin training for future missions | Science and technology news


Britain’s newest astronaut has started training for future space missions.

Rosemary Coogan, A Northern Irish astrophysicist, was selected to join European Space Agency (ESA) training program last year.

The 32-year-old is in the agency’s astronaut center in Cologne, together with four colleagues who were selected from more than 22,500 applicants. Germanyto start a year of basic preparation.

Rosemary Coogan

She is joined by Sophie Adenot from France, Spainby Pablo Alvarez Fernández BelgianLuxembourgish engineer Raphael Liegeois and Marco Sieber Switzerland.

Frank De Winne, head of the European Astronaut Center, said they had already “demonstrated the skills and commitment to be successful as ESA astronauts”.

“We look forward to supporting them every step of the way as they embark on this exciting journey in preparation for future space missions,” he added.

What does the training include?

Europe’s newest group of astronauts is being trained to do this International Space Station Standards so they can go back and forth on missions.

Her first year of training includes scuba diving in preparation for spacewalks, strenuous fitness tests, and college-style science seminars.

Once basic training is complete in spring 2024, candidates will become certified astronauts and ready for deployment preparation.

Another phase of training follows once they have been selected for a particular mission.

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NI Astronaut Says It’s “Exciting Times”

“A real privilege”

Ms Coogan is only the third female British astronaut and part of the first new group of ESA candidates since 2009.

were before her Helen Sharmanwho became the first Briton in space in 1989, and Tim Peakewho performed a historic spacewalk 27 years later.

Ms Coogan said last year: “It was a real privilege to get the call – I was incredibly excited.

“So many people have applied and I feel very fortunate to be in this position and really want to take this opportunity to learn as much as I can and give as much as I can.”

Ms. Coogan has two Masters degrees from Durham University and a PhD in Astronomy from Sussex.

Also named in ESA’s latest cohort was the British ex-Paralympian John McFallas part of a feasibility testing program for people with disabilities working in space.

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