European space agency ESA to start search for new astronauts from March, organization reports On Monday. This is the first time since 2008 that the European Astronaut Corps is looking for new recruits. A special trajectory will also be open for astronauts with a physical disability, the Parastronaut Feasibility Project. It is still not clear exactly what this process will look like.
From March 31 to May 28, 2021, future astronauts can register with ESA. A major recruitment campaign begins on February 16. After May 28, a large-scale selection process comprising six rounds will begin and in October 2022 it should become clear which Europeans will be space travelers.
“We want to represent all members of our society,” said David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at ESA. For example, ESA is targeting a diverse group of new astronauts and the world’s first project for future astronauts with physical disabilities is also launched.
What this parastronaut feasibility project will look like is still unknown, but Parker says the world is “ready.”
The last selection round was in 2008
The final selection round included the German Alexander Gerst, the Italian Samantha Cristoforetti and the French Thomas Pesquet. Dutchman André Kuipers was selected by ESA in 1998.
In the spring of 2021, French astronaut Pesquet will become the first European to sit in the commercial astronaut capsule of space company SpaceX. This capsule first brought astronauts to the International Space Station in May 2020, becoming the first commercial spacecraft to do so.