The European Space Agency ESA has started recruiting new astronauts. This selection specifically calls for diversity. For example, there is even a separate application for so-called parastronauts, astronauts with a specific physical disability.
“The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for professionals capable of conducting spaceflight missions to low Earth orbit and to the moon and to humans to perform technical, scientific, managerial or administrative tasks in support of the manned space flight program in particular, and ESA in general ”, the space agency writes on its website with the vacancy.
To be able to apply, there are some conditions that must be met. For example, you must have a master’s degree in natural science, engineering, mathematics or computer science. If you have a diploma as an Experimental Test Pilot or Test Engineer, a bachelor’s degree in one of the above mentioned fields is sufficient. In addition, ESA is also looking for people with a medical diploma who are recognized as a general practitioner or specialist.
A PhD on top of your diploma is not compulsory, but is considered an asset. It is mandatory to be fluent in English and have three years of professional experience in the above fields. In addition to all these requirements, ESA also lists many things that are “desirable”. This concerns, for example, field experience with expeditions in extreme circumstances, experience in a managerial position and worked in the past or simply having experience abroad.
The vacancy for astronauts with a physical disability is quite similar. The space agency does list which restrictions are eligible. This includes lower limb deficiency or short stature (less than 130 centimeters). The aim of this program is to see whether it is possible to send so-called parastronauts into space in the future.
Those who feel called to have until 28 May to apply. Psychological testing for the candidates who made the first selection will begin in July this year. Practical tests will then be carried out from January 2022. The final selection should take place in October 2022.