European Space Agency is hiring astronauts in UK – could you be the next Tim Peake?


The next UK or Irish astronaut or first parachutist could be selected as part of the European Space Agency (ESA) research for people to travel to space on upcoming missions.

For the first time since 2008, ESA is looking for new astronauts to join its cohort of space explorers and UK citizens of all ages and backgrounds are invited to apply.

After intensive training, which includes a three-week caving course and a practical geology course, new astronauts will make their first space flights when deployed to the International Space Station.

They will likely be part of the crew for upcoming missions to the Moon in the late 2020s and into the 2030s.

ESA is also launching a special call for applicants with physical disabilities to apply to its reserve of astronauts.

The pilot project aims to open the career of astronauts to people who, until now, were excluded from space flights.

People with lower limb impairments or considered short and meeting other recruitment criteria are invited to apply.

ESA will invest in the necessary adaptations of space hardware to enable these otherwise skilled professionals to serve as crew members on a safe space mission

The UK Space Agency expects the next professional astronaut from UK or Ireland to be selected in this recruitment cycle and encourage all eligible applicants to apply.

While space industry experience is not essential, applicants should have a master’s degree (or above) and at least three years of experience in natural sciences, medicine, engineering, mathematics or computer science. Fluency in English is essential along with other requirements.

The right candidate will be calm under pressure and willing to participate in life science experiments.

In the past, experiments included studying the effects of microgravity on human bone and tissue.

Major Tim Peake said: “Over the next few years and decades, space exploration will become even more exciting as we return to the Moon and further afield to Mars.

“For space missions to be successful, they require highly motivated people from diverse backgrounds to combine their skills and work as a team.

“The next generation of British citizens has so much to offer the world, and so I encourage anyone who has dreamed of pushing the limits of what is possible to seize this opportunity to be part of the future cohort of space pioneers. from ESA. “

In 1989, Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut when she was selected for the joint UK-Soviet Union mission, Juno.

In May 1991, she spent eight days in space and became the first female astronaut to visit the Mir space station.

Tim Peake was the next British astronaut and in 2015 became the first Briton to live on the International Space Station.

Major Peake was the first British person to be recruited into the ESA Astronaut Program where he and five other UK applicants made the final stage of the application process.

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Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “Becoming an astronaut is a dream for many, and Tim Peake’s historic mission to space in 2015 showed millions of Britons that it can become a reality, while also putting firmly the UK on the map as a leading space. -faring nation.

‘With the UK space sector receiving more government support than ever, it is time for a new generation of UK astronauts to answer this call as we continue to work with our European partners to push the boundaries of science even further and exploration. “

Applications will open on March 31 and will remain open for two months.

There will then be a 17-month selection process, psychological, practical and psychometric tests, medical selections and two interview selections until the final candidates are nominated and announced in October 2022.

Elsewhere, a program to boost UK space businesses and alert more businesses to the opportunities space-related businesses can bring is expected to be launched by the UK Space Agency.

The business accelerator program lasting up to 10 weeks, delivered in partnership with business growth experts from Entrepreneurial Spark and the University of Strathclyde, offers free virtual sessions to help businesses focus on the space to progress.

The program, which will start in early March, aims to find entrepreneurs in a wide range of sectors to strengthen the infrastructure of the UK space industry.

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