UK astronaut Rosemary Coogan has completed a significant milestone in her journey to space after graduating from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) basic astronaut training programme.

A ceremony in Cologne marked the end of her initial training phase, bringing her one step closer to her first mission.

Selected from over 22,500 applicants in 2022, Coogan, originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has undergone extensive training at the European Astronaut Centre. The 33-year-old astronaut will now engage in operational tasks at ESA, which may include roles in mission control or crew support, as she awaits assignment to a future space mission.

Reflecting on her graduation, Coogan expressed a mix of gratitude and excitement in a press release issued by UKSpace.

“Graduating from astronaut basic training is an incredibly moving moment for me. From dreaming about space to now being one step closer to reaching it, I’m filled with gratitude and determination to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity,” she said.

Andrew Griffith MP, Minister for Space at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, conveyed his congratulations: “It’s a proud moment for the UK which will inspire many more here and beyond to see that the sky need not be the limit of their ambitions.”

Coogan’s training included scientific experiment preparation for the International Space Station, medical training, and studies in astronomy and physics. Additionally, she has endured physical challenges such as winter survival training in the Spanish Pyrenees, hypoxia awareness in a pressure chamber, centrifuge rides, and zero-gravity flights. Coogan also trained in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas, simulating spacewalks in a full-scale replica of the International Space Station.

Coogan’s cohort included fellow ESA astronauts Sophie Adenot (France), Pablo Álvarez Fernández (Spain), Raphaël Liégeois (Belgium), Marco Sieber (Switzerland), and Australian Space Agency astronaut candidate Katherine Bennell-Pegg.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Gareth (@guest_816705)
1 month ago

Best of luck (from a fellow applicant!)

Bob (@guest_816709)
1 month ago

Good for you Rosemary, saw you interviewed recently and your enthusiasm was infectious.
Hope you make it to the ISS or who knows, even the moon.