UK Astronauts To-Be In ESA Class Of 2022

23rd Nov 2022
UK Astronauts To-Be In ESA Class Of 2022

Three future UK astronauts help comprise the ESA Class of 2022. They include Career Astronaut Rosemary Coogan, first-ever ESA Parastronaut John McFall, and Reserve Astronaut Meganne Christian. UK Space agency greeted the news with a tweet.

Career and reserve astronauts

The class includes two separate levels of astronauts: career and reserve. While they have the exact same qualification, the reserve astronauts are not immediately given a contract but will get prepared for future ESA missions, Aschbacher explained. However, the career astronauts will be assigned a contract and from 2023, will begin training for the next ESA missions. The career astronauts will be assigned to the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, and after 12 months of basic training, they will begin Space Station training, and then will eventually be chosen for specific missions.

Besides Rosemary Coogan, the career astronauts selected include:

  • Sophie Adenot from France
  • Pablo Álvarez Fernández from Spain
  • Raphaël Liégeois from Belgium
  • Marco Sieber from Switzerland

Application surge

In a massive rise from 2008 when almost 10,000 people registered as astronaut candidates, ESA saw almost 23,000 take the plunge this year. According to the agency, 5,397 women applied, and 17,126 men applied. Most applications were made in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Over 200 people applied for the first-ever parastronaut position.

All candidates were asked to submit their applications before 28th May 2021. ESA director of human and robotic exploration David Parker said at the time:

“We need to keep our eyes on our aim of living and working on the lunar Gateway, then the Moon, and who knows – maybe even one day – the surface of Mars. This new group of recruits will help keep our astronaut corps at full strength, ready for an exciting future.”

Orbital Today wishes the three UK astronauts a long and fruitful career in ESA!

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