The Welshman who aimed for space but was sunk at sea

2023-05-28 17:17:49  • 3 mins

By Llio Rhys

BBC Cymru Fyw

When Dr John Anthony Llewellyn applied to be an astronaut he never expected to end up living on the seafloor.

He had set his sights a little higher - at least in terms of altitude - and dreamed of going to space after replying to a notice board advert.

Nasa was expanding its space exploration plans and needed scientists.

In August 1967 the chemistry expert became one of only 11 people to be accepted.

He was one of the first two Nasa astronauts who were not USA-born. The other was his colleague Dr Phillip Chapman, an Australian.

The men were the sixth group of Nasa-appointed astronauts. They became known as the "Excess 11", as there was no mission planned for them.

  • First Welsh satellite set to be launched
  • Deep space radar site could be built
  • Could Port Talbot become a centre for space technology?

When he got the job, dad-of-three Dr Llewellyn's ambition was to "make a successful flight, do some good experiments and get some good first-class science out of it".

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