This is not a scoop: going to Space is far from being accessible to everyone. If SpaceX wishes to launch its first space tourism mission by the end of 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) will soon launch a recruitment campaign to hire new astronauts. However, the last ESA campaign dates from 2011!
A campaign starting on March 31
There are many people dreaming of making a stay in Space, but unfortunately there are very few elected. Perhaps one way to do this is to participate in the SpaceX charity contest. On February 1, 2021, the private aerospace giant claimed to have opened applications to the public. At the end of the year, three people selected at random will accompany Jared Isaacman, head of the company Shift4 Payments. The latter is the group’s first space tourist and has indeed decided to offer the other three places on board.
While traveling in SpaceX’s Dragon capsule can be appealing, becoming an astronaut is an even more exciting possibility. However, in a statement February 8, 2021, the European Space Agency (ESA) affirmed its desire to recruit new astronauts. This campaign, which will begin on March 31, will allow some lucky elected officials to join the ESA training program.
ESA has drastic selection criteria
If integrating this training does not guarantee 100% going to Space, it is already a very good start. On the other hand, the high level of selection criteria may discourage some. During the last campaign in 2011, the first criterion concerned educational level. ESA wanted to recruit people with at least Bac + 5 in physics, chemistry, biology or even mathematics. Let us quote another essential criterion: the level in English. Since future astronauts will have to interact with nationals of many countries, ESA requires an exemplary level in this language universal.
Let’s also mention physical condition, also a very important criterion. Remember that astronauts must be able to safely withstand G forces from 4 (soft takeoff) to several tens (emergency landing). Let us also mention the fact that during a stay in Space, the human body is abused. Among other things, bones stretch and muscles melt. A extraordinary physical condition is therefore a sine qua non condition to resist these changes and recover after returning to Earth.
Finally, let us recall one last essential point: to be the Thomas Pesquet level, you must have a mind of steel. Indeed, ESA requires that its astronauts can be able to manage their stress perfectly. The goal is to be able to respond in the best way to any possible emergency.