Going to space is a particularly challenging endeavor. Aspiring astronauts need to go through intensive training and tests before they can suit up and be launched into space. But who exactly can become astronauts? What are the guidelines and selection criteria to be an astronaut? And more than that, shouldn't we be considering accommodating all sorts of people to go on space missions, especially those who have already experienced the kind of situations astronauts would encounter when they are in space?
We're talking about people with disabilities becoming astronauts. As of yet, NASA has a policy that makes it difficult for PWDs to be sent to space. It's not really a surprise since most of the spacecraft that we have are designed not specifically with PWDs in mind. But tests and training procedures have shown how PWDs would have a big advantage if they become astronauts. One such example would be someone who is deaf. In 1961, NASA recruited 11 people who were deaf in order to conduct an experiment to see "what might happen to people in places where the inner ear can't sense up and down." They were called the Gallaudet Eleven. Read more on Wired.
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