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EXTENDED DEADLINE: Are you the next woman in space? Impactpool supports ESA to find Astronauts

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by Henrik Rydén
COO and Co-founder of Impactpool

Published on: 1 May 2021

                Applications are accepted until 18 June 2021


The starting point for all the outreach/search assignments that we have done in the past has been to prepare a plan to reach individuals that identify themselves with a professional occupation, it could be to reach Medical Doctors, Operations Managers,  Programme Managers etc. 

But where to start if no one identifies themself with the occupation that you are sourcing for? 

That was our starting point when building our women Astronaut outreach plan for European Space Agency’s (ESA) astronaut intake in 2021.

For the first time since 2008, the European Space Agency (ESA) has opened up the recruitment for new astronauts.

Applications are open for any citizen from one of ESA’s Member States (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom) and Associate Members (Slovenia, Lithuania and Latvia). Diversity is key and Impactpool will support ESA in the outreach for women Astronauts.


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:


Astronaut with Disability


                                                            Find all ESA jobs

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