POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - EUROPE

European Space Agency

Luxembourg astronauts still in the race



The ESA harnesses the resources and knowledge of its 22 member states to be able to compete on an international level. Photo: Shutterstock

The ESA harnesses the resources and knowledge of its 22 member states to be able to compete on an international level. Photo: Shutterstock

The European Space Agency (ESA) received 645 valid applications from Luxembourg for its job opening for an astronaut position. Six candidates from the grand duchy have now been chosen to continue in the next application round. 

A total of 22,523 applicants from all over the European Union submitted to the ESA following a recruitment drive that opened at the end of March 2021. Some1,361 passed a first comprehensive screening, ESA announced. In phase two, the 831 men and 530 women will undergo psychological performance testing as a facility in Europe. 

ESA and its member states work together to “find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries,” the organisation states on its website. 

Luxembourg has 6 astronaut candidates--5 men and 1 woman--attempting to make it to the next phase. After France, which recorded the highest total number of hopeful candidates (7,087), Luxembourg had the second highest number of participants per capita. 

A position for an astronaut with a physical disability was also advertised by the agency. Out of the 257 candidates, 27 received an invitation to join the second phase of the selection process. 

At least three candidates from all the member states that contribute to the ESA were selected for phase 2. Whether or not the grand duchy--which is investing more and more in the space sector--will be part of the new class and reserve of astronauts will be announced in autumn of 2022.