Recruitment: Do you want to become an astronaut? Apply!

Posted31 mars 2021, 12:07

The European Space Agency has launched its recruitment campaign to hire four to six future astronauts. Candidates have until May 28 to announce themselves.

The recruitment campaign for future European astronauts opened with the launch on Wednesday of a European Space Agency (ESA) site to collect applications. Candidates have until May 28 to submit their application online, before the start of the selection procedure, which will end in October 2022 with the hiring of four to six future astronauts.

A world first, ESA offers a parallel procedure for recruiting an astronaut with a physical disability, affecting the lower limbs or having a very small stature. They will participate in a “feasibility” study on the access of space flights to “parastronauts”.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in a scientific field, or a medical degree, and three years of professional experience. The age limit is 50 years old. English is required to be fluent, and fluency in a second language is an asset. A medical certificate of the type required for the profession of pilot must also be provided.

The young recruits will be called upon to fly initially to the ISS, and, in the future, to participate in future lunar missions.


Six sets of exams

The selection procedure, which consists of six series of examinations, each of which is eliminatory, is “long and will take more than a year,” the agency said on its website. After an initial screening of applications, applicants will take cognitive, technical and personality tests. Psychometric evaluations will follow, followed by new medical tests. And finally two series of interviews, the last of which with the director of ESA, Joseph Aschbacher.

The previous promotion of astronauts, that of 2008, had seen seven lucky winners, including Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, for more than 8,000 candidates. “We expect even more candidates this time,” said Guillaume Weerts, head of the management of the European Astronaut Center at the European Space Agency (ESA), when announcing the launch of the campaign on the 16th. last february.

The young recruits will have the vocation to fly initially to the ISS, and, in the future, to participate in future lunar missions. The European Astronaut Corps currently has seven members. For the first time, ESA will create a “reserve corps”, in parallel, in case new, shorter flight opportunities arise.


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