Big numbers apply to be European astronauts

Come be part of me: Frenchman Thomas Pesquet is presently engaged on the ISS

The European Space Agency says it it “thrilled” by the quantity of people that have utilized to be part of its astronaut corps.

A complete of 22,589 people crammed out the web kind – two-and-a-half instances the curiosity stage when Esa final ran a aggressive course of in 2008.

There was additionally a sizeable leap in ladies wanting to go into orbit – 5,419 functions this time in contrast with only one,287 final time.

Appointments ought to be made in 2022.

“Having more than 22,000 applicants is quite a number,” stated Josef Aschbacher, Esa’s director common.

“We have all been astonished. For me, it is a very strong expression of interest and enthusiasm that people have across Europe in space, and in becoming an astronaut.

“I’m extraordinarily thrilled by these numbers; it is simply superb.”

Esa says it will give contracts to between four and six individuals to join its astronaut corps on a full-time basis. But it plans also to recruit a reserve of up to 20 persons who will be held on standby in case other opportunities emerge.

One such opportunity might include a member state of Esa wishing to fly a “nationwide mission” outside of the usual arrangements the agency has with its partners on the International Space Station (ISS).

This would see that member state purchase a seat to fly its citizen on one of the new commercial capsules now available, with Esa then managing all of the training.

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David Parker said he was particularly pleased to see the numbers applying to join a feasibility study that would look at how to fly an astronaut with a physical disability.

“We did not actually know what the response would be to this explicit name. Would we get functions for this place to work with us on getting ready the highway for an individual with a bodily incapacity to fly to area? That query has been answered now with a formidable 257 functions, and 60 of them are ladies. That’s actually thrilling.”

The largest number of applications came from France – 7,137. That’s perhaps not surprising given that French national Thomas Pesquet is currently aboard the ISS. There is huge media coverage in France about his mission.

The next largest group of applications came from Germany (3,700), the UK (1,979), Italy (1,860), Spain (1,344) and Belgium (1,019).

“The subsequent phases of the choice course of foresee the psychological exams, adopted by sensible and psychometric exams. Then there’ll be the medical choice, adopted by two rounds of interviews. So it’s fairly a prolonged course of,” defined Antonella Costa, who works in human sources at Esa.

Screening of the applying kinds will in all probability allow no less than 1,500 candidates to start this course of.

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