Elon Musk makes space adventurous amputee’s flight dream come true.
Quadruple amputee Philippe Croizon likes a challenge – he has swum the Channel and taken part in the gruelling 8,000km Dakar rally – and now it looks as if he will be going into space after asking Elon Musk to take him there.
“It started when I tweeted that if I topped 50,000 followers, I’d ask Elon for a seat in the Starship,” said Mr Croizon, whose arms and legs were amputated after he suffered a severe electric shock while trying to dismantle a television antenna on the roof of his home in 1994.
“Within two hours, I had the followers, so I tweeted: ‘Hello. I am a famous French adventurer without arms or legs! Send me into space to show once again that anything is possible.’ I attached some photos of me swimming the Channel, doing a parachute jump and driving in the Dakar Rally, but I didn’t really expect him to reply.”
Within a couple of hours, however, SpaceX founder Musk replied: “One day we will fly you on Starship.”
An exchange by private message followed. “It was really bizarre that he replied but that is what happens when you have the courage to try - anything is possible.”
Mr Croizon, 52, said daring has become his way of life. “Without arms or legs, I rely totally on others for everything.
“There is no shame in asking for help, no loss of honour. In fact, it’s a way of sharing. I had to dare to approach people, to ask for help. For me, it’s a necessity. I never have regrets. It’s always too late to regret things. You have to move forward.”
He said that dying people often regret not having followed their dreams. “But I try to make my dreams happen.
“I’ve always wanted to go into space, and when I swam the Channel, journalists asked me what I wanted to do next. I said ‘space flight’ but when I contacted Virgin, they didn’t reply. So now I’ve contacted Elon, and he says he’ll do it.”
He is excited about the prospect of becoming the first disabled person to travel into space and wants to show that anything is possible, even without limbs.
“I want to see the Mer de la Tranquillité on the moon. I want to see our planet from space. It’s going to be fabulous.”
While he is waiting, he is preparing to enter the Dakar Rally again in 2022, this time driving a hydrogen-powered car.
He also continues to give motivational talks around the country about resilience and daring. “I am the living proof that anything is possible,” he said. “Resilience is about taking responsibility and daring to reach out.”
At this point in the interview, the line cuts and then reconnects. “Don’t say the word ‘cut’,” he says outrageously. “It stresses me out!” And he goes off into gales of laughter.