In the main part of the paper, three aspects of Fuglesang’s elevation into a Swedish public science hero are discussed: First, the cyborg metaphor is used to analyse the fearlessness Fuglesang expresses towards yielding to, and entering into close communion with science and technology. Second, the transcendence of earthly perspective aspired to by science for so long, and apparently realized through space travel, is discussed in relation to Fuglesang’s personal experiences of space. Third, the inseparability of Fuglesang’s nationality from his heroism is discussed. It was only through the repeated flagging of his Swedishness that Fuglesang’s routine space mission gained any particular significance enabling it to be communicated as a major scientific event.
Finally, closer attention is paid to the scientific message Fuglesang is delivering to Swedish society. It is argued that he acts to promote renewed faith and confidence in the ability of science to open up new horizons for the future. The task of the public science hero is to help enable these new horizons to colonize the public imagination.
Keywords: Christer Fuglesang; cyborg; popularisation; science hero; space travel; Sweden