For the first time in 11 years, ESA is looking for new astronauts. These recruits will work alongside ESA’s existing astronauts as Europe enters a new era of space exploration.
Media representatives are invited to a virtual press event on Tuesday, 16 February, to learn more about the vacancies that are intended to initiate a real generational change for ESA.
The starting point for this is 31 March 2021, when the vacancies for new astronauts open. ESA is strongly encouraging women to apply, because we are seeking to expand gender diversity in our ranks.
ESA Director General Jan Wörner says, “Thanks to a strong mandate from ESA Member States at Space19+, our Ministerial Council in 2019, Europe is taking its place at the heart of space exploration. To go farther than we ever have before, we need to look wider than we ever have before.
This recruitment process is the first step and I look forward to watching the agency develop across all areas of space exploration and innovation, with our international partners, in the years to come.”
“Representing all parts of our society is a concern that we take very seriously,” says David Parker, ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration.
“Diversity at ESA should not only address the origin, age, background or gender of our astronauts, but also perhaps physical disabilities. To make this dream a reality, alongside the astronaut recruitment I am launching the Parastronaut Feasibility Project – an innovation whose time has come.”
The vacancy runs from 31 March to 28 May 2021 and ESA will only consider applications submitted to the ESA Career website within those eight weeks. After that, the six-stage selection process will start, which is expected to be completed in October 2022.
Ninja Menning- photo ESA