‘My only chance is with Elon Musk’: Quadruple amputee dreams of space

Limbless Philippe Croizon from France, smiles, after he set a world record to scuba dive 33 meters deep in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.
Limbless Philippe Croizon from France, smiles, after he set a world record to scuba dive 33 meters deep in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. Copyright AP Photo/Yves Logghe
By Vincent Coste
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Philippe Croizon, a quadruple amputee that has since become an accomplished athlete, dreams to become the first handicapped person in outer space.


Philippe Croizon has never let his amputated arms and legs get in the way of what he wants to achieve and now he has his heart set on a new goal: travelling to outer space.

Croizon is counting on SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to help him to get there after the business magnate responded to his request on Twitter late last year.

The 53-year-old Frenchman had his legs and arms amputated after an accident in 1994 that saw him hit by two electric shocks of 20,000 volts.

"I have nothing to lose. I died on March 5, 1994, when I had my accident. So everything that I'm living today, it's just bonus," Croizon told Euronews.

Since the accident, the Frenchman pushed himself to pursue new challenges, such as swimming the English Channel, achieving a scuba diving world record and completing the Dakar Rally in an adapted buggy.

But his latest project - to travel to space - started a bit as a "joke", he said.

Croizon tweeted that if he could get 50,000 followers before Christmas, he would ask Elon Musk to send him to space.

He achieved his target in just two hours.

Croizon, who describes himself as someone "cheeky who dares to do things" said he was "caught in his own trap".

"Hello @elonmusk I am a famous French adventurer without arms or legs! Send me into space to show once again that anything is possible! @SpaceX," Croizon tweeted on November 20, 2020.

Croizon said he never imagined that the famous tech CEO "who has nearly 50 million followers" would respond to him. But, Musk did.

"One day we will fly you on Starship," Musk responded two hours later. The two men began exchanging messages.

Musk put Croizon in contact with Jared Isaacman, an American billionaire and pilot, who is financing the first fully private space mission dubbed "Inspiration 4".

Isaacman will lead a four-person all-civilian crew into space, including 29-year-old American cancer survivor Haley Arcenaux.

They will travel on a SpaceX Dragon capsule powered by a Falcon 9 launch vehicle in a space mission planned for later this year.

Croizon will not be on this first private space trip, but he has been invited to attend the takeoff by Musk and Isaacson. Croizon said the billionaires would then discuss a solution to make him the first handicapped person to travel to space.

"We're not speaking about the European Space Agency here, that launched a call for disabled astronaut candidates," says Croizon because you have to have several years of university study and "arms", he said.

Yves Logghe/AP Photo
Limbless Philippe Croizon from France set a world record to scuba dive 33 metres deep, at the World's deepest swimming pool, in Brussels in 2013.Yves Logghe/AP Photo

"My only chance is with Elon Musk and Jared," he told Euronews.


"I have learned something throughout the course my life. It's that we can ask for help. That helping hand, you should live it like a moment of sharing. For me, it's thanks to helping hands that I've carried out all my adventures," he said.

He hopes that this project will come to be, stating that his most beautiful memory is always tomorrow. But he says it also won't be his last challenge.

"I still have a lot of things to do in life. Let me be. Leave me to continue to live my dreams," Croizon said.

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