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255 Romanian citizens are competing in the ESA astronauts selection campaign

on 23 June 2021

For the first time in 11 years, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched a new call for new astronauts. 199 men and 56 women from Romania applied for ESA’s campaign, out of a total 22589 applicants. For this recruiting campaign, ESA also decided to accept a number of applicants with a certain degree of physical disability. Ten Romanians, namely eight men and two women, applied for the vacancy for this category.

The numbers were released today, 23 June 2021, during an ESA media event. This year’s campaign saw 2,5 times more applicants in comparison with the previous recruitment campaign that finished in 2009, respectively 4 times more female applicants.

The next stage in ESA’s selection process will be screening, where applications are assessed on the basis of all documents submitted, the application form and the screening questionnaire completed as part of the application process. Screening rounds will determine the exact number of complete and valid applications submitted and mark the start of a one-and-a-half-year process to select ESA’s next astronaut class and reserve.

Now that the registration period has ended, the six-stage selection process will begin, which is expected to be completed in October 2022. The stages that the candidates will go through are:

  • Screening: several screening rounds will be conducted on the basis of all documents submitted with the application form as well as the screening questionnaire completed as part of the application. In addition, applications for the selection of candidates with physical disabilities will undergo a medical screening on the basis of the eligible impairments.
  • Test Phase 1: cognitive, technical, motor coordination and personality testing.
  • Test Phase 2: psychometric testing, group and individual exercises and practical tests.
  • Test Phase 3: applicants’ physical and mental abilities are measured against international medical standards for spaceflight missions.
  • Interview Round 1: panel interview in which applicants are tested on technical and behavioural competencies (educational qualifications are verified and criminal record checks are carried out).
  • Interview Round 2: final stage of the selection process. Applicants who make it through to this stage can expect an interview with the ESA Director General, after which a final decision will be made.

The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) wishes good luck to all the Romanian candidates!

More information is available at this link.

Image credit: ESA