The European Space Agency is looking for the world’s first disabled astronaut to fly into space.
So far, people with significant disabilities have been excluded from the physical and psychological selection processes at large space agencies.
The next astronaut – or first parastronaut – recruitment campaign is inviting European citizens of all ages and walks of life to apply.
People who are limb missing or who suffer from conditions such as dwarfism are encouraged to apply and could be part of missions to the Moon or Mars.
Major Tim Peake said, “In the years and decades to come, space exploration will be even more exciting as we travel back to the moon and further to Mars.
“For space missions to be successful, they need highly motivated people from different backgrounds to combine their skills and work as a team.
“The next generation of British citizens has so much to offer the world and that is why I encourage anyone who has dreamed of pushing the boundaries of what is possible to take this opportunity to be part of the future cohort of space pioneers To become an ESA. “
It is ESA’s first open recruiting campaign since 2008 and applications will be open for two months on March 31st.
Screening, psychological, practical and psychometric tests, medical selections and two interview selection processes will then be carried out for 17 months until final applicants are announced in October 2022.
The pilot aims to open up the astronaut career path to people previously excluded from space travel.
ESA will invest in the necessary adjustments to the space hardware so that these otherwise qualified professionals can act as crew members on a safe space mission.
The intensive training includes a three-week course in caving and a course in practical geology.
The new astronauts will make their first flights into space when they are dispatched to the International Space Station.
You will likely be part of the crew on the next missions to the moon in the late 2020s and into the 2030s.
Science Secretary Amanda Solloway said: “Becoming an astronaut is a dream come true for many, and Tim Peake’s historic mission in space in 2015 showed millions of Britons that this can become a reality, while Britain is firmly on the map as space leader Nation.
“With the UK aerospace sector receiving more government support than ever before, it is time a new generation of British astronauts took up this call as we continue to work with our European partners to push the boundaries of science and exploration even further expand.”
While experience in the space sector is not strictly required, candidates must have a master’s degree (or higher) and at least three years of experience in science, medicine, engineering, math, or computer science. Good English skills are essential, along with other requirements.
The right candidate will be calm under pressure and ready to take part in life science experiments.
In the past, the effects of microgravity on human bones and tissues were investigated in experiments.
In 1989, Helen Sharman became the first British female astronaut when she was selected for the joint Juno mission between Britain and the Soviet Union.
In May 1991 she spent eight days in space and was the first female astronaut to visit the Mir space station.
Tim Peake was the next British astronaut and in 2015 the first British person to live on the International Space Station.
Major Peake was the first British person to be hired under the ESA astronaut program, where he and five other applicants from the UK reached the final stage of the application process.