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Dr. Suzie Imber was the winner of the recent BBC 2 series entitled Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes? during which twelve candidates were put through astronaut training with NASA astronaut Chris Hadfield. She endured challenges such as taking her own blood, speaking Russian while in a centrifuge at 5g and carrying out emergency procedures on the NASA undersea astronaut training facility, Aquarius. Emerging victorious, Suzie will receive a letter of recommendation from Chris Hadfield to support her application to the European Space Agency astronaut training programme.
Suzie is an Associate Professor of Planetary Science at the University of Leicester. She specialises in space weather; understanding how explosions from the Sun travel through the solar system and impact the planets, in particular the Earth and Mercury. Space weather has profound impacts for our modern day society and has been added to the government’s national risk register, having the potential to disrupt power grids, telecommunication systems and GPS systems, as well as damaging spacecraft instrumentation and posing a hazard to astronaut health.
Suzie was an England U21 lacrosse player, an elite rower, and is now a high altitude mountaineer. She has written computer code to automatically identify mountains in South America, and found hundreds of mountains that didn’t exist on previous lists. She sets off annually to scale these incredibly remote, un-climbed mountains, exploring new regions of our planet and even discovering sets of Incan ruins on the summits.
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