The European Space Agency have heralded the start of a new call for astronauts. With applications opening on 31st March 2021, there will then follow a six stage selection process, which is expected to conclude in October 2022. More details are to be announced later in February.
The United Kingdom remains a member of ESA, and therefore British candidates will be eligible to apply to the process. In the previous call for candidates, Tim Peake was successfully chosen to fly with ESA, the first Briton to be part of an ESA programme. Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space, flew with Project Juno, a British-Soviet collaboration.
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.”
The Agency will also launch a Parastronaut Feasibility Project, described by ESA as “an innovation whose time has come”.
The BIS will follow progress, and hopes to see a strong British field of candidates. Find more at esa.int
Photo (c) ESA – ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet completes his first space walk in 2017.