ESA – the European Space Agency – is looking for new astronauts for the first time in 11 years.

The new recruits will work alongside ESA’s existing astronauts as Europe enters a new era of space exploration. The vacancies are intended to initiate a real generational change for ESA by encouraging women to apply to expand gender diversity within the organisation’s ranks. The application process for the astronaut vacancies will open on March 31.

ESA seeks to expand diversity within its ranks

ESA Director General Jan Wörner said: “Thanks to a strong mandate from ESA Member States at Space19+, our Ministerial Council in 2019, Europe is taking its place at the heart of space exploration. To go farther than we ever have before, we need to look wider than we ever have before. This recruitment process is the first step and I look forward to watching the agency develop across all areas of space exploration and innovation, with our international partners, in the years to come.”

David Parker, ESA Director of Human and Robotic Exploration added: “Representing all parts of our society is a concern that we take very seriously. Diversity at ESA should not only address the origin, age, background or gender of our astronauts, but also perhaps physical disabilities. To make this dream a reality, alongside the astronaut recruitment I am launching the Parastronaut Feasibility Project – an innovation whose time has come.”

The astronaut vacancy runs from 31 March to 28 May 2021 and ESA will only consider applications submitted to the ESA Career website within those eight weeks. Following the submissions, the six-stage selection process will start, which is expected to be completed in October 2022.

Find out more at: ESA – ESA Astronaut Selection

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