Share article:
Share article:

ESA astronaut applications open

Photo from European Space Agency

The recruitment campaign for future European astronauts opened on Wednesday with the launch of a European Space Agency (ESA) website to collect applications.

Candidates have until 28 May to submit their applications online, before the selection process begins, which will end in October 2022 with the hiring of four to six future astronauts.

As a world first, ESA is proposing a parallel recruitment procedure for astronauts with physical disabilities, such as lower limbs or very short stature. They will participate in a feasibility study on spaceflight access for “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. Fluency in English is required, and fluency in a second language is an advantage. A medical certificate of the type required for the profession of pilot must also be provided.

The selection procedure, which consists of six rounds of examinations, each of which is eliminatory, is “long and will take more than a year,” the agency says on its website.

Photo from European Space Agency

Related News


After an initial screening of applications, applicants will take cognitive, technical, and personality tests. This will be followed by psychometric assessments, then further medical tests. Finally, there will be two rounds of interviews, the last of which will be with ESA Director Joseph Aschbacher.

The previous class of astronauts, that of 2008, saw seven lucky candidates out of more than 8,000 applicants.

“We expect even more candidates this time,” said Guillaume Weerts, head of ESA’s European Astronaut Centre, when the campaign was announced on 16 February.

The young recruits will initially fly to the ISS, and in the future will 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.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...