'Space is for everyone': World's first disabled astronaut part of Europe's grand space training program

John McFall has also run for Great Britain's Paralympic team. (Photo: CGTN)

The world's first disabled astronaut could soon be off to the Moon after being unveiled by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of its new class of 2022.

In a major step towards allowing people with physical disabilities to work and live in space, British Paralympic sprinter John McFall is part of a 17-person team chosen from over 22,500 applicants for the program.

The 22-nation agency said it had appointed 41-year-old McFall, who has a background in sports and exercise science, for a feasibility study during astronaut training to assess the conditions needed for people with disabilities to take part in future missions.

McFall said: "When it was announced they were looking for a candidate with a physical disability, I thought it was such an exhilarating possibility, such a brave and bold thing to do.

"So with my scientific background and vast range of experiences, I felt compelled to try and help ESA to help answer the question of if someone with a physical disability can do meaningful work in space.

"I think I can bring a lot to the study, including inspiration. Science is for everyone and so is space."