Cyprus Mail

Cypriot woman, who dreams of space, wins place on Nasa programme

Ελένη Χαρίτωνος
Eleni Charitonos

Twenty-two-year-old Cypriot Eleni Charitonos is one step closer to realising her dream of becoming an astronaut now she has had her January internship at Nasa approved.

Charitonos, who holds Cypriot and American citizenship, will work on artificial intelligence tools at the Glenn research centre in Ohio to assist manned missions to the moon and Mars, focusing on medical monitoring and medical care for astronauts.

Charitonos’ internship is considered a major success considering the thousands of applications and the overall Nasa acceptance rate of just five per cent.

“It’s hard to process the fact that something that until now seemed out of reach will now be your new reality,” she said, adding that Nasa is the mother of all space agencies.

“It opens up a new horizon for me and gives me the opportunity to work with leading scientists in the space industry,” said the Glasgow university student at the department of mathematics and statistics.

Charitonos explained that her knowledge in maths and statistical machine learning will help her contribute to a project that is part Nasa’s Artemis mission.

Charitonos completed her training as an analog astronaut at the LunAres Research Space Station in Poland and at the Space Exploration Center, HI-SEAS in Hawaii.

Charitonos said she loved her heavy spacesuit so much during her simulation astronaut mission that she wished she could sleep in it.

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