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- June 30th, 2023 Posted in News

European Space Agency (ESA) reserve astronaut, Meganne Christian, has joined the UK Space Agency in a new role that will support the thriving UK space sector. Renowned for her skills across multiple science areas, Meganne brings her experience and expertise to the agency’s Exploration team as Reserve Astronaut & Exploration Commercialisation Lead. She will also support education and outreach programmes dedicated to encouraging the uptake of STEM subjects across UK schools.

Meganne Christian, Reserve Astronaut & Exploration Commercialisation Lead for the UK Space Agency, said: “I am thrilled to join the UK Space Agency at this hugely exciting time, with the sector growing and the UK taking part in major international missions. Being a reserve astronaut for ESA is a truly unique opportunity, and this new role with the UK Space Agency gives me even more of a chance to help the thriving space sector push the frontiers of human exploration and demonstrate the benefits of space to us all here on Earth. I know first-hand that space has a tremendous power to inspire people and I’m looking forward to sharing my passion and being a part of this world-leading community.”

Meganne made international headlines when she was selected to join ESA’s new astronaut cohort alongside UK Career Astronaut, Rosemary Coogan, and world-first Parastronaut, John McFall, at the agency’s Council of Ministers event in November. They were among the first astronauts to be unveiled by ESA since 2009 out of more than 22,500 candidates.

With training in science, industrial chemistry, atmospheric physics, meteorology and engineering, Meganne’s dynamic career has taken her across the globe, from observing weather patterns at the Concordia station in Antarctica with the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy, to undertaking parabolic flights to test graphene coatings in satellites with research institutes.

Chief Executive at the UK Space Agency, Dr Paul Bate, said: “As we continue to push the boundaries of discovery and champion the power of space for future generations, I’m delighted to welcome Meganne to the UK Space Agency. Her unique expertise will benefit both our exploration and inspiration programmes, developing new commercial opportunities for UK companies, while supporting young people from all backgrounds to pursue STEM subjects. Meganne has already hit the ground running, joining our Space for Everyone tour around the UK and engaging audiences at national events, and I look forward to working with her.”

More About Meganne

Born in the UK, Meganne grew up in Australia and holds British, Italian, Australian and New Zealand citizenship. She received a doctorate at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, following her thesis on the design, synthesis and advanced characterisation of nanomaterials for hydrogen storage applications. Outside of science, Meganne has a range of talents, including languages, knitting, climbing, and scuba diving, and she also holds a black belt in Hapkido, a Korean martial art. Learn more about Meganne on her ESA biography page