Twenty-two Irish applicants have advanced to the next stage of the European Space Agency’s astronaut recruitment process

2022-07-13 0 By

Image: © dimazel/Stock.adobe.com these candidates will proceed to the next phase of the astronaut recruitment process, with the successful group expected to be announced in the fall.Twenty-two Irish applicants – nine women and 13 men – have been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the next stage of the astronaut selection process.In total, ESA selected 530 women and 831 men from across the EU, with at least three candidates selected from each country.The applicants will now proceed to the second phase of esa’s astronaut selection process, which involves a full day of psychological performance tests at a facility in Europe.Esa’s recruitment program, first announced last year, received 22,523 valid applications for astronauts.This is the first time in more than a decade that esa is looking for a new astronaut.The largest number of applicants came from France, with more than 7,000.Germany followed with 3,695 and the UK with 2,000.There were 276 from Ireland.Esa’s head of human and robotic exploration, David Parker, has previously spoken about the agency’s plans for more diverse and inclusive space missions.For the first time in its history, the European Space Agency is exploring how to take people with physical disabilities into space in a new “quasi-astronaut” program.The vacancy attracted 257 applications, 27 of which made it to the second stage.Candidates who pass the second stage of the test will undergo a series of psychological interviews and group tests, followed by medical tests.Those who successfully make it through these screening stages will be invited for a recruitment interview.The conference will recruit at least four, but possibly as many as six, professional astronauts.Reserve astronauts will also be hired as part of a new program, where they will occupy a more flexible position.They would not be ESA employees, but would be associated with specific flights or missions and could be employed by esa on temporary four-year contracts.The European Space Agency will be looking for up to 20 backup astronauts.Esa’s new crew and reserve crew are expected to be announced this fall.While esa’s current focus is on the International Space Station and returning to the moon, future missions will involve Mars and Gateway, a small space station orbiting the moon.2022 promises to be an exciting and productive year of space exploration, with many missions planned by space agencies around the world.In September, esa, in collaboration with the Russian Space Agency, will launch the next part of the ExoMars mission.The first part of the mission, ExoMars 2016, put a trace gas orbiter into Orbit around Mars in late 2016.