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Copernical Team

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London (AFP) Nov 23, 2022
John McFall, who has become the first astronaut recruit with a disability, is a British doctor and former Paralympian who lost a leg in a motorbike accident. The 41-year-old has been selected by the European Space Agency for a special "parastronaut" programme and is set begin training early next year. Born in Frimley in southern England, McFall had his right leg amputated aged 19, which
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Washington DC (UPI) Nov 23, 2021
Communication between NASA's Mission Control Center in Houston and the Artemis I moon mission spacecraft was lost for 47 minutes Wednesday morning. It was resolved by a reconfiguration on the ground side, according to NASA. NASA said in a blog statement that communication was lost temporarily while reconfiguring the communication link between the Orion spacecraft and Deep Space Network
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UK's Rosemary Coogan, right, is one of the ESA's new career astronauts, while Paralympian doctor John McFall, centre, became the
UK's Rosemary Coogan, right, is one of the ESA's new career astronauts, while Paralympian doctor John McFall, centre, became the first recruit with a disability.

The European Space Agency announced five new career astronauts as well as history's first astronaut recruit with a disability on Wednesday after adopting a record budget to fund its projects.

The two female and three male career astronauts "will start working immediately," ESA director-general Josef Aschbacher told a ministerial council meeting in Paris.

From more than 22,500 applicants, the agency chose France's Sophie Adenot, Spain's Pablo Alvarez Fernandez, Britain's Rosemary Coogan, Belgium's Raphael Liegeois and Switzerland's Marco Sieber.

"I'm European but from the UK," Coogan told the ceremony. Though Britain has left the European Union, it remains in the ESA.

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NASA’s Europa Clipper Gets Its Wheels for Traveling in Deep Space
Engineers install 2-foot-wide reaction wheels onto the main body of NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft. The orbiter is in its assembly, test, and launch operations phase in preparation for a 2024 launch. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The enormous spacecraft that will head to Jupiter's moon Europa uses four large reaction wheels to help keep it oriented.

Just as NASA's Mars rovers rely on robust to roam the Red Planet and conduct science, some orbiters rely on wheels, too—in this case, —to stay pointed in the right direction. Engineers and technicians at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California recently installed four reaction wheels on Europa Clipper, which will rely on them during its journey at Jupiter's icy moon Europa.

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Video: 00:01:50

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher talks about Europe’s ambition for the future of human spaceflight: a European astronaut, on a European spaceship and a European capsule.

Tuesday, 22 November 2022 16:48

ESA presents new generation of ESA astronauts

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The European Space Agency has chosen 17 new astronaut candidates from more than 22 500 applicants from across its Member States. In this new 2022 class of ESA astronauts are five career astronauts, 11 members of an astronaut reserve and one astronaut with a disability. 

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Video: 00:44:11

Watch the replay of the press conference that brings the Council Meeting at Ministerial Level in Paris (CM22) to a close. ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher, as well as the hosting minister and the CM22 chair, present the outcome of this high-level meeting that takes place on 22 and 23 November. ESA’s plans for the next three years reflect the needs to raise Europe up another level in space activities, and to ensure that space continues to serve European citizens.

Watch the other CM22 videos.

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Europe will strengthen its autonomy, leadership and sustainability in space, following today’s decision to increase ESA’s budget by 17% compared to the last Ministerial meeting in 2019.

Wednesday, 23 November 2022 14:00

Announcement of ESA's new class of astronauts

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Video: 00:26:06

ESA’s new class of astronauts is announced on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 at the Grand Palais Éphémère (GPE) in Paris. The new class includes career astronauts, reserve astronauts as well as astronauts with a physical disability for a feasibility project.

Last year and for the first time since 2008, ESA launched a call for applications and it received more than 22 500 valid applications. Today, ESA now reveals which of these were successful.

Watch the other ESA Astronaut Class 2022 videos.

Access the related broadcast quality footage.

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