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For the first time since 2008, the European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking new astronauts. Here is all you need to know about the selection competition.


16.02.2021 Press release

09.02.2021 Call for media

31.03.2021 Applications Open

25.05.2021 Extended deadline

19.01.2022 Astronaut selection: stage one complete

11.02.2022 16 candidates from Romania move to next phase of ESA's astronaut selection

11.07.2022 ESA astronaut selection in the final stages

Romanian Space Agency Facebook Page

Use: #YourWayToSpace #ESARecruits

About the selection and astronauts

Who can apply?

ESA is seeking candidates with a Master’s degree (or higher) and a minimum of three years’ experience in: Natural Sciences / Medicine / Engineering / Mathematics / Computer Sciences.

Astronaut selection who can apply pillars

ESA is also issuing a special call for candidates with physical disabilities to apply to its astronaut reserve.

Link: FAQ — Requirements and eligibility criteria

When to apply

Applications are open from 31 March 2021 until 18 June 2021 (extended). Candidates can submit a complete application online through the ESA careers website.

When you apply to this vacancy, you will be required to upload a medical certificate for private airplane pilots (aeromedical certificate class 2 for Europe or equivalent). You can receive such a certificate from INMAS (Institutul Național de Medicină Aeronautică și Spațială General Doctor Aviator Victor Anastasiu). In addition, a list of aeromedical centres and aeromedical examiners authorised by Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority can be accessed via the AACR website here (PDF download).

The final announcement will be made in October 2022.

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Link: Selection calendar

What do astronauts do?
In Space

From breakfast to experiments, from spacewalks to houskeeping, this is how the day of an astronaut looks like:

Astronaut selection astronauts in space pillars

On Earth

While not in space, astronauts are involved in office work, training, outreach and public relations and may other activities

Astronaut selection astronauts on Earth pillars

Link: ESA Careers

How do astronauts train?

Astronaut training is constantly evolving. However, there are three key phases for European astronauts.

  • Basic training: One year, at European Astronaut Centre
  • Pre-assignment training: at all partner sites
  • Increment training: Around two years,in preparation for the assigned mission

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Link: FAQs: training facilities and projects

What will be the next space missions?

ESA’s Human and Robotic Exploration programme will see astronauts and robots explore low Earth orbit on the International Space Station, the Moon and Mars.

Astronaut selection ESA s human and robotic exploration destinations pillars

Link: FAQs: ESA’s planned space missions

Where do astronauts live in space?
International Space Station

The International Space Station is an example of broad cooperation, uniting Europe, USA, Russia, Japan and Canada in one of the largest partnerships in the history of science.

Astronaut selection International Space Station pillars

The lunar Gateway will be assembled and operated in a highly elliptical orbit around the Moon.

Astronaut selection Gateway pillars

Orion European Service Module

Orion is a NASA spacecraft set for missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Astronaut selection Orion European Service Module pillars

What rockets will transport astronauts?

These are the rockets that ESA astronauts could be launched on.

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Where can you find more details?

Link: YourWayToSpace Website

Ready? Apply!

Link: ESA Careers