UCL News


UCL In the News: British astronauts may hit cash barrier in EU space programme

19 April 2008

James Randerson, 'The Guardian'  The European Space Agency has announced that from May it will be recruiting a new cohort of astronauts.

But although the ESA has said it will consider applications from all 17 EU states, unless the UK government changes its position on funding human spaceflight any British applicant selected would be blocked from beginning the training.

"If you get selected and you are from a state that doesn't sign up then your country has to be make an official cost based decision on do we join, don't we join," said Dr Kevin Fong, co-director of the UCL Centre for Aviation, Space and Extreme Environment Medicine. He has trained and carried out research with Nasa and is one of Britain's best hopes in the selection process.

"Governments can fox around the issue ... but if you have got a selected astronaut then you have got to make a decision." He said he would be applying. …