Good Day y’all!
As many of you have seen on Instagram and now on Facebook, ESA (The European Space Agency) are looking for more astronauts!
Applications will be accepted from the 31st March onwards, and require a few supporting documents which need time to acquire, so starting early is key!
What do ESA look for in an Astronaut?
ESA shares some similarities to NASA when it comes to applications, and both are highly selective in their astronauts.
As explained in this English brochure by ESA, you must have a degree in an appropriate field, and 3+ years of postgrad work or flying experience. You also need a JAR-FCL 3 class 2 medical examination by a certified Aviation Medical Examiner. These kinds of exams are important for looking at how well you’ll do when flying. They prefer candidates to be 27-37 years old, and knowing a bit of Russian is a bonus!
Here’s a quote from ESA on what characteristics they look for:
General characteristics expected of applicants include but are not limited to: good reasoning capability, the ability to work under stress, memory and concentration skills, aptitude for spatial orientation, psychomotor coordination and manual dexterity. An applicant’s personality should be characterised by high motivation, flexibility, gregariousness, empathy with fellow workers, low level of aggression, and emotional stability.
What Happens After?
After you apply, if you’re successful they will invite you to more testing of various kinds and an interview. It’s all very rigorous, but ESA needs to find only the best of the best!
Unfortunately, I am but a mere 19 year old undergraduate. I have nothing on paper to offer, not even ID since my passport has expired and a new one is on its way.
But I would like to think I fit the description of what ESA look for in an astronaut. In terms of physical requirements I can do one knee push up, which is 1 more than last year!
My mental skills clearly make me a top candidate as well. My memory is functional up until 10 minutes, which is 600 seconds. That’s a large number! I also get along well with classmates, and haven’t slapped any of them yet. Also note that all my lectures have been virtual.
Jokes aside, if you have the right requirements and find this kind of work very motivating, then apply! You can find out where to take the appropriate medical exams, and submit an application. It would be wonderful to see you in space!
Speaking of going to space, have you ever wondered what it’s like to become an astronaut with a private company? We’ll be covering private astronauts in upcoming posts, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, you might find Virgin Galactic‘s pages on becoming an astronaut interesting. You may not need to fit all ESA and NASA’s requirements to fly to space, provided you buy a ticket with Virgin.