Leicester space scientist is the first ever graduate of astronaut training centre in Sweden

Space scientist and aspiring astronaut Dr Suzie Imber from our Department of Physics and Astronomy recently took part in QinetiQ’s Gravity Horizon training programme organised by the Flight Physiological Centre in Linkoping, Sweden, where she became the first ever graduate to emerge from the scheme.

Suzie's challenging experiences during the training programme have been explored in a new written feature, which details how she had to overcome being submerged, deprived of oxygen, spun around in the centrifuge and piloting a mock fast jet in order to test her coordination and ability to respond to obstacles.

Last year Suzie won BBC 2’s ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?”, where she fought off tough competition from 11 other exceptional candidates, chosen from thousands who applied, including scientists, engineers and pilots, to receive the ultimate reference – Chris Hadfield’s backing for her application when the space agency ESA next take on astronaut recruits.

“I’m rarely sitting still,” admits Suzie, who has recently returned to Leicester from Sweden in order to resume her teaching responsibilities. “While my dream is to become an astronaut and explore space, it’s good to know that Leicester is still here to help keep me grounded.”

However, Suzie won't be in Leicester for long, as she will soon be representing the University's leading role in space research and technologies at the GREAT Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong (21 - 24 March), where she will be on-hand to inspire others to reach for the stars with their ambitions. Suzie will join representatives of the University in talking about some of the latest exciting developments to come from space science and space-enabled technologies.