Orthopaedic specialist of the UP Clinical Centre in the four Hungarian astronaut candidates

7 March 2023

Dr. Ádám Schlégl, orthopaedic specialist of the UP Clinical Centre Department of Orthopaedics is one of those four astronaut candidates who have the chance to go research on the International Space Station at the turn of 2024 and 2025.

This was announced at the press conference of the Hungarian Astronaut Program (HUNOR) on March 7, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The candidates who completed the arduous, multiple model selection process were introduced here.

According to the report of Index.hu, Orsolya Ferencz, Ministerial Commissioner for Space Research told the media that Hungarian science and the entire country reached a historical moment. She reminded everyone that the government accepted the space strategy that declared direct goals for development, including HUNOR, in 2021.

As she explained, in order to utilize the reserves in universities and research networks, these programs are indispensable, just as international interest is. She hopes that this historical moment will have the same effect on the Hungarian scientific sector as the space travel of Bertalan Farkas did, who was also present at the press event according to the report.

As we have already reported on the website of the Pécs Medical School, the HUNOR program announced in 2021 has received over 240 valid applications until January 31, 2022. These were examined based on the criteria of the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the International Space Station (ISS) and Axiom Space. The applicants came from various fields of sciences, and according to the article there were deep sea archaeologists, astrophysicists, biochemists, economists, transport engineers, hunters, public transport pilots, lawyers, doctors and philosophers as well.

Applicants underwent tests assessing their mental and physical endurance, personality and cooperation skills. The official staff is complete with fur members, but the work has only just begun; they have to attend training programs, and at the end of those the most suitable candidate will go to space.

Dr. Ádám Schlégl (33) is an orthopaedic surgeon. He completed his medical studies at the University of Pécs Medical School, after which he also did his PhD research here. In the past years, he specialised in tumour surgery as a practicing specialist. He is also an educator, black belt karate master and he has stood on a peak of over six thousand meters in the Himalayas – the article emphasizes. The specialist thinks that he could help even more people through the program, and the medical biology research will have much emphasis, and their findings can make their way into everyday clinical use.

Aside from the assistant professor of the UP Medical School, the other candidates are: András Szakály aeroplane designer engineer, Tibor Kapu development engineer and Gyula Cserényi electrical engineer.

“For us, reaching space is not just a dream, but a calling. Those who want to conquer space are taking the highest of risks”

– said Gábor Magyari, leader responsible for selecting and training the astronaut candidates.

We have interviewed Dr. Ádám Schlégl about advancing in the selection process in June 2022, in which we discussed how he was in the team of about two dozen who completed the challenges that far.

The interview is available here:

“The orthopaedic expert might be the next Hungarian astronaut”