'It was magical' - the first disabled crew to fly in zero-gravity Nov. 9, 2021

from Access All: Disability news and talk· ·

While millions of people might dream about space travel, with the exacting requirements often expected of astronauts some disabled people might have counted themselves out...until now. Mission: AstroAccess - a crew of disabled scientists, students and artists based in America - has just launched to make space travel accessible for all the right reasons. Wouldn't it make sense if a shuttle could be navigated by a blind person so, if the lights went down, everyone could get around? And what about making sign language a requirement so everyone could be in on the conversation? Then again, how does signing work …



While millions of people might dream about space travel, with the exacting requirements often expected of astronauts some disabled people might have counted themselves out...until now. Mission: AstroAccess - a crew of disabled scientists, students and artists based in America - has just launched to make space travel accessible for all the right reasons. Wouldn't it make sense if a shuttle could be navigated by a blind person so, if the lights went down, everyone could get around? And what about making sign language a requirement so everyone could be in on the conversation? Then again, how does signing work when you're floating upside down? Mary Cooper, who has a prosthetic leg, and Sina Bahram, who is blind, are two of the crew members who set out to find answers to these questions on board Mission: AstroAccess's first parabolic flight where they floated around in zero gravity. Presented by Beth Rose. Subscribe to this podcast on BBC Sounds or say "Ask the BBC for Ouch" to your smart speaker. Picture credit: Al Powers at Zero Gravity Corporation