Space: the recruitment campaign for European astronauts is open

Candidates have until May 28 to submit their application online, before the start of the selection procedure.

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Ready to take off? The recruitment campaign for future European astronauts opened with the launch on Wednesday March 31 of a European Space Agency (ESA) site to collect applications. Applicants 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 study of “feasibility” 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 selection procedure, which consists of six series of examinations, each of which is eliminatory, is “long and will take more than a year”, specifies the agency on its site. 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 Thomas Pesquet, for more than 8,000 candidates. The young recruits will have the vocation to fly initially to the ISS, and, in the future, to participate in future lunar missions.

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