The European Space Agency is looking for new talent to join its Astronaut Corps. Applications will be accepted from March 2021.
Do you think you are the next Thomas Pesquet or the next Claudie Haigneré? Note that from March 31, 2021, you will have the opportunity to submit your application to the European Space Agency. A new recruitment phase – the first for eleven years – is in fact being set up, specifies the press release released on February 8. This first phase will end on May 28, 2021.
Today, the European Astronaut Corps has seven members, divided into a woman and six men. There are two Germans (Alexander Gerst and Matthias Maurer), an Italian (Samantha Cristoforetti), a French (Thomas Pesquet), a Dane (Andreas Mogensen), an Italian (Luca Parmitano) and a British (Timothy Peake). The oldest is Matthias Maurer, who will be 51 in March.
Women astronauts are wanted
All applications are welcome, but the European Space Agency does not hide its desire to see more varied profiles this year. ” ESA strongly encourages women to apply, as the agency seeks to strengthen gender diversity in its ranks “. This includes origin, age, background or even gender, but also, what might seem counterintuitive, physical disability.
« To make this dream come true, along with recruiting astronauts, I am launching the Parastronaut Feasibility Project – an innovation whose time has come », Says David Parker, director of Human and Robotics Exploration at ESA. Still very early, this idea will not be able to fit into the new selection campaign. But in the longer term, it could materialize.
The selection process, which also aims to prepare for the renewal of members of the European Astronaut Corps, whose average age is 45 years, will be long: it must last until October 2022 and will be broken down into six steps. The European Space Agency, however, has not indicated how many astronauts it hopes to hire at the end of this campaign.
The ESA announcement comes a year after the NASA announcement. The American space agency is also engaged in a renewal of its workforce. Given his plans, it is plausible that the men and women selected in this framework will go to the Moon, as will European astronauts. In the longer term, some might even be on the trip to Mars.
A very demanding selection
In either case, the profiles sought are very demanding: you must of course be in excellent physical condition, with a very solid mind. A high level scientific background is also required, as well as a few years’ experience in the discipline studied. You may also be asked to justify a sufficient number of hours as a pilot. Speaking several languages is also required.
In comparison, to get an idea of the profile sought, Thomas Pesquet is an aeronautical engineer. He is also multilingual and an accomplished athlete. He is incidentally an airline pilot, with hundreds of hours on the clock in commercial airplanes. He was even an A320 instructor for a while. You may be an Ace at Flight Simulator, that may be a bit fair.
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Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.
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