The ESA astronauts include a former University of Sussex graduate

A University of Sussex graduate reaches for the stars after being announced as an astronaut for the European Space Agency.

dr Rosemary Coogan, who has a PhD from the university, has been selected as a “career astronaut” and will fly into space after completing her training.

dr Coogan is one of 17 astronauts selected by ESA from over 20,000 applicants.

dr Stephen Wilkins, Head of Astronomy at the University of Sussex, said: “While he was here, Rose studied star formation and the growth of supermassive black holes in distant galaxies.

“On her graduation I learned that Rose had fought her way through the ESA selection process, so it’s wonderful news that she was successful. In addition to being a strong astrophysicist, Rose has worked hard to develop a variety of skills and traits that make her so well suited to this amazing opportunity.

“To be one of only five professional astronauts chosen from over 20,000 applicants for ESA’s first selection in 13 years is an amazing achievement and all of us in the Astronomy Group at the University of Sussex are incredibly proud.”

dr Coogan is one of only five British astronauts selected and the only astronaut to receive ‘career astronaut’ status.

Successful candidates for the ESA program begin their training in Cologne, Germany, where they complete 12 months of undergraduate training. Once assigned to a space mission, they undergo task-specific training prior to their mission to the International Space Station.

dr Mark Sargent, former supervisor of Dr. Coogan at the University of Sussex, said: “From the moment Rose contacted me to inquire about PhD opportunities, it was clear that she had a deep-rooted curiosity and a strong desire for outer space, our cosmic origins on a fundamental level understand level.

“It’s fantastic that she now has the opportunity to continue this journey by going into space herself.”

dr Coogan’s doctoral research focused on star formation and supermassive black holes. The ESA astronauts include a former University of Sussex graduate

Fry Electronics Team

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