For the first time in more than a decade, the European Space Agency (ESA) will train new astronauts. Willing people will be able to apply from March 31. ESA encourages people from different member countries to take part.
ESA is preparing a generational change among its astronauts and will be looking for new people willing to explore space. Recruitment will start on March 31, 2021, and will last until May 28, 2021. People who want to try their hand at this profession will be able to apply through the ESA career website ( https://www.esa.int/About_Us/Careers_at_ESA ). It also includes other recruitments currently conducted by the space agency.
Candidates for astronauts will face a six-stage recruitment process, which will end in October 2022.
The ESA agency encourages people from different member countries to take part. “Representing all parts of our society is an issue that we take very seriously,” says David Parker, ESA's director of human and robotic exploration. “The diversity in ESA should not only concern the origin, age, environment or gender of our astronauts but perhaps also physical disabilities. To make this dream come true, together with the recruitment of astronauts, I am launching the Parastronaut Feasibility Project - an innovative project whose time has just come ”- he adds.
In the coming days, ESA will provide the media with more details about the new recruitment of astronauts and will launch an information campaign.
In 1998, ESA member countries participating in the International Space Station (ISS) project decided to merge their astronaut teams with the existing ESA team and the European Astronaut Corps was created. This integration process was completed in 2002. Currently, the Astronaut Corps has seven active members from Denmark, Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain. They were selected in May 2009 after a year-long recruitment process. The six astronauts completed training in September 2009, and the seventh formally joined the team in July 2015, completing training in 2018.
The astronaut profession is one of the most crowded professions in terms of the number of candidates for one place. For example, more than 12,000 people applied for NASA's recruitment that began last year. (PAP)