The recruitment campaign of the “Thomas Pesquet of the future” has worked even better than expected: the European Space Agency said Wednesday morning at a press conference that more than 22,000 people, including nationals of ESA member states but also 367 non-eligible people, mainly Indian, have participated in the campaign, compared to 8,000 during the last recruitment drive in 2008.
Among these 22,589 people, 65 applications came from Luxembourg, including 12 women. In terms of the number of applications per capita, this places the country in second place in Europe, behind France and ahead of Belgium. ESA noted the dramatic increase in the number of female applicants. Women represented 15.3% of applicants in 2008, compared to 24% this year.
This campaign, which was intended to be very inclusive, also received applications from 257 people with disabilities, including one from Luxembourg.
The campaign, which was supposed to end on 28 May, was extended to allow second country nationals apply with the agency. After the closure of the first phase, the files will start to be studied and psychological tests will take place until November, psychomotor and physical tests continue until April 2022, a medical selection until August 2022, and two rounds of interviews before the nominations in October 2022, probably for four rather than six astronauts.
This article was originally published on Paperjam.lu in French. It has been translated and edited for Delano.