European Space Agency Opens up Application Process for British Astronauts

23rd Apr 2021
Tim Peake

European Space Agency opens its doors to British astronauts for the first time in 13 years. This time, ESA is ready to hire people with disabilities as well. All interested applicants from the UK will have eight weeks to apply for ESA’s programme.

European Space Agency Programme Requirements

All interested applicants must be under 50 and have a degree in natural or computer sciences, math, or medicine. At least three years of relevant experience is also a must. By ‘relevant experience,’ ESA means working as pilots, in science, or engineering.

Applicants should also be fluent in English, but knowledge of other languages is not obligatory. Recruits who meet these requirements will go through a 17-month selection process before getting approved for the European Space Agency programme.

According to ESA, the right applicants are people who can live and work under pressure, so stress-resilience is a must to become part of this programme. Besides, applicants should be ready to participate in science experiments. For reference, previous ESA experiments studied the effects of microgravity on the human body.

A separate, Parastronaut, study welcomes recruits with physical disabilities to determine if they could become part of future space missions. This is the first project of this kind, and it is encouraging to see how ESA is trying to make space accessible for people with special needs.

According to the ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker, the agency is seriously invested in representing all parts of society. This calls for diversity – not just a cultural but also a physical one.

Applications officially started on 31st March and will go on until 28th May 2021. Both application forms are publicly available on the European Space Agency official website.

And what about UK Space Agency?

In its turn, the UK Space Agency urges British astronauts to consider this opportunity. Successful recruits will begin training to join Moon and International Space Station missions, following in the footsteps of their compatriot Major Tim Peake. Peake joined the ESA as a recruit in 2009 and traveled to the ISS in 2015.

Now, more British astronauts can follow this path and become part of the diverse European Space Agency team.

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