Applications are open for ESA’s first astronaut selection in over a decade, and all qualified candidates are encouraged to put themselves forward.
Vacancy notices Astronaut and Astronaut (with a physical disability) have been posted to jobs.esa.int. Applications must be submitted via site before 28 May 2021 to be considered for selection and important information for candidates is available in the newly released Astronaut Applicant Handbook.
Becoming an ESA astronaut is no easy feat, but the only guaranteed way for those who meet the minimum requirements to miss out on selection is to not submit an application. This message has been reiterated by the ESA astronaut class of 2009, including the soon-to-fly Thomas Pesquet who said not applying in ESA’s last selection round would have been the biggest mistake of my life.
The most selective step is whether or not you are going to apply, Thomas says. There’s maybe one in a thousand people who are going to be picked up, but there is one in a million who will apply. So please, please, please - apply, apply, apply.
Thomas is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station for his second mission, known as Alpha, on 22 April 2021. The first mission of ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer is scheduled for October, and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti expected to launch on her second mission in spring 2022.