Since its founding in 1975, ESA has had two female astronauts – Claudie Haignere and Samantha Cristoforetti. Of the 560 people who've ever gone to space, only 65 have been women (11%) and 51 of them were American, according to the Associated Press.
Hence applications from women are strongly encouraged.
ESA is looking for four to six career astronauts, and up to 20 reserve astronauts.
In order to apply, candidates must fulfil the minimum requirements:
- A Master’s degree from a recognised academic institution in Natural Sciences, Medicine, Engineering or Mathematics/Computer Sciences or a degree as Experimental Test Pilot and/or Test Engineer from an official Experimental Test Pilot School
- Three years of relevant professional experience after graduation
- Fluency in English (another language is an asset)
ESA wants to go beyond the debate about the benefits of diversity and inclusiveness and, alongside the astronaut selection campaign, it was launched a call for qualified professionals with a physical disability. The selected candidate(s) will join the astronaut reserve and participate in the Parastronaut Fly! Feasibility Project – an initiative investigating the feasibility of sending an astronaut with a physical disability into space.
ESA welcomes applications from all qualified candidates and particularly encourage applications from women. Download their Astronaut Applicant Handbook for more information about the requirements and anything else you need to know before applying. All astronauts receive extensive training, so if you meet the requirements and would like to become an astronaut, apply now!
Applications are accepted until 18 June 2021.
Are you curious about what it takes to be an astronaut? Check out the job descriptions below: