European Space Agency to recruit female and disabled astronauts for Moon and Mars missions.
EUROPE’S equivalent of NASA has launched its first recruitment drive in 11 years, and is eager to achieve greater diversity.
“For the first time in 11 years, ESA is looking for new astronauts. These recruits will work alongside ESA’s existing astronauts as Europe enters a new era of space exploration,” said the agency.
ESA Director General Jan Wörner says, “Thanks to a strong mandate from ESA Member States at Space19+, our Ministerial Council in 2019, Europe is taking its place at the heart of space exploration.
“To go farther than we ever have before, we need to look wider than we ever have before. This recruitment process is the first step and I look forward to watching the agency develop across all areas of space exploration and innovation, with our international partners, in the years to come.”
Representing all parts of society “is a concern that ESA takes very seriously,” said David Parker, Director of Human and Robotic Exploration.
“Diversity at ESA should not only address the origin, age, background or gender of our astronauts, but also perhaps physical disabilities.
“To make this dream a reality, alongside the astronaut recruitment I am launching the Parastronaut Feasibility Project – an innovation whose time has come.”
The vacancy runs from 31 March to 28 May 2021 and ESA will only consider applications submitted to the ESA Career website within those eight weeks. After that, the six-stage selection process will start, which is expected to be completed in October 2022.
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