A former Whitehaven Sea Cadet has been accepted on a programme which will help pave the way for the manned exploration of Mars.

Adam Crellin (25) is currently studying medicine at Oxford University and has already been involved with work on the effects of space travel on the human body.

After passing an extensive selection process which took place over several months last year, Adam is now part of a multinational OeWF (Austrian Space Forum) team of eight ‘analog astronauts’ and will be specially trained to carry out technical tests and Mars simulations, lasting up to a month, in preparation for human exploration of the red planet.

Adam, 25, said: “I have always been interested in medicine and space exploration and this is very much something of a dream come true for me.

“I do feel that my teenage years as a cadet formed a large part of how I've got to where I am.

"My advice would be to join the cadets and take all the opportunities they offer, and also to find whatever part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subject you enjoy, throw yourself into it and enjoy being a geek in your subject.”

Chairman of Whitehaven Sea Cadets, David Abbott said that he was extremely proud of Adam’s achievement.

“It’s great to think that in some small way we have contributed to Adam’s success and we look forward to following his progress,” he added.