South Warwickshire pensioners become astronauts for the day - The Leamington Observer

South Warwickshire pensioners become astronauts for the day

TWO GRAVITY-defying pensioners from Great Alne became astronauts for the day.

Stephen Walsh, 67, and his partner Patrician Hackett, 79, took their love of outer space to another level by travelling to France to take part in an anti-gravity flight over the Atlantic, usually reserved for astronauts in training.

The couple, who are residents at Great Alne Park retirement village, were inspired to take part in the cosmic encounter after attending a book signing by Major Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station.

They flew to Bordeaux, the home of the Novespace airZeroG, a converted Airbus 310 which is usually used by the European Space Agency for research and astronaut training.

Pat and Stephen got to experience the full effects of zero-gravity, bouncing around in a specially padded cabin. They were joined on their voyage by French astronaut and Novespace chairman Jean-Francois Clervoy, a three-time space shuttle crew member.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Leamington Observer.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Leamington Observer.