February '19

“The assumption has long been that this training is a necessity—traveling to space is a mentally and physically grueling endeavor. We need the strongest, smartest, most adaptable among us to go. But strength comes in many forms, as do smarts. And if you want to find people who are the very best at adapting to worlds not suited for them, you’ll have the best luck looking at people with disabilities, who navigate such a world every single day. Which has led disability advocates to raise the question: What actually is the right stuff? “

Study participants chat in the zero-g aircraft that flew out of Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.  Credits: U.S. Navy/Gallaudet University collection

Study participants chat in the zero-g aircraft that flew out of Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.

Credits: U.S. Navy/Gallaudet University collection