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  • Satellite Evolution

ESA Astronaut selection: stage one complete with 1391 promising applicants

The next stage of ESA’s astronaut selection is underway, with around 1391 applicants invited to a full day of testing at a facility in Europe. These candidates were selected from over 23,000 Europeans who put themselves forward for the astronaut and parastronaut (with a physical disability) positions when ESA issued the call in March 2021. Due to a high volume and caliber of applications, it has taken some time to review and respond to all applicants and ESA would once again like to express its gratitude to all those who applied.

Head of Space Medicine at ESA Guillaume Weerts says: “We really want to thank everyone who applied to this selection process, both those continuing and those who will leave us at this stage. Thank you for your patience and for all the work you put into your applications. We were very impressed by the quality of applicants.”

ESA HR Business Partner Antonella Costa agrees. “It is a very competitive process – even just meeting the initial criteria to apply is something to be proud of,” she says. “Though not everybody can become an astronaut, there are many other ways in which you can support Europe in space. We strongly encourage people to visit our careers website and see how else they could apply their skills and follow their passion with ESA.”

The first round of testing for the 1391 candidates who have made it through focuses on psychological performance and includes cognitive, technical, motor coordination and personality tests. For successful candidates, this will be followed by a set of psychological interviews and group tests before medical testing. Candidates who successfully pass each of the selection stages will be invited to recruitment interviews. ESA’s new class of astronauts and reserve astronauts is expected to be announced in autumn 2022.


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