Feb 16, 2021 - Science

The European Space Agency is looking for new astronauts

Earth from space

Photo: NASA

The European Space Agency is on the hunt for a new, more diverse group of astronauts.

The big picture: This is the first time ESA has put out the call for more astronauts since 2008.

What's happening: Applications open March 31, and there are a few basic requirements for people hoping to make it as an ESA astronaut.

  • Applicants must be citizens of a state associated with ESA and have a master's degree in a STEM field or have an experimental test pilot degree or test engineer, according to the space agency.
  • "Candidates must have at least three years of relevant professional experience after graduation and be fluent in English," ESA said in a statement. "Good knowledge of another foreign language and any other additional language is a plus."
  • Take a look at this link for more information once applications open.

The intrigue: ESA is also looking for candidates for its new parastronaut feasibility project, which will focus on finding people who have physical disabilities who could fly to space as astronauts.

  • For now, the program is only open to people with certain physical disabilities, including lower limb deficiency either congenital or though amputation, people with leg length differences and those of short stature, 50 inches or below.
  • "It is our hope to push the envelope on the topic of disability at work, and inspire people with special needs to apply to other jobs at ESA and in the space sector," ESA said in a statement.
Go deeper