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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

ESA thanked applicants for their patience: Applications will be updated by the end year

The European Space Agency (ESA) receives thousands of applications each year for their missions, but the space community does not follow a speedy process. Also, in the past year, the pandemic took its toll, causing a lack of a workforce that reviews applications. But the agency promised to review all the current applicants by the end of 2021, and applicants will answer their queries.

Though the deadline for the application review period has already passed, applicants are hoping to get a positive answer from the agency. The European Space Agency (ESA) facilities one of the most exciting platforms for job seekers and future astronauts. Guillaume Weerts, head of space medicine, posted about the delay and posted, ‘Astronaut’s applicants thanked as ESA contracts all candidates.

In the briefing where applicants to ESA’s astronaut selection are being thanked, we talked about the current delay and what’s going on internally. Though it gives a rough idea, the official report did not go into the details.

Thousands of acceptances or rejections noticed are distributed towards the European candidates for space programs. Guillaume Weerts said his team is very conscious of giving all applicants the attention they deserve. Though ESA receives continuous applicants each year, the hiring is not continuing as per the applicants. The agency has been looking to hire astronauts for over ten years. As they received more than 23,000 applicants, evaluations will take a bit longer than expected.

The deadline closed on 18 June 2021, where it was extended weekly before the deadline due to Lithuania’s new status as an ESA Associated Member.

On 6 December, NASA announced its 2021 Astronaut Candidate Class participants. The ten selected candidates will train in the NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. They chose ten astronauts to form more than 12,000 applicants. They will represent the United States and work for NASA’s humanity’s benefit in space.

On the EU side, the ESA promised to get through the applications within November, and a follow-up letter will be sent to the selected candidates. Weerts said they came ‘very close to meeting this goal, and there are still some applicants who have not heard from us.’

The process can get complicated pretty quick as it contains psychological performance tests, interviews and medical testing’s. After that, the passing candidates will be sent to recruitment interview and given a class schedule at the year-end. Those already tested are given the green light to the European faculty. Rest will have to wait until their time comes, but the ESA hopes to complete the process within the year.

It is an exciting time to be an ESA astronaut as there is a Moon mission on schedule. These astronauts may likely be partnered with NASA’s ten recruits, working together in the international missions. Some of NASA’s newcomers may probably fly into deep space on the Orion capsule.

Guillaume Weerts said, "If you are in this category, please be assured you have not been forgotten."

"You should expect an answer – either positive or negative – by the end of 2021."

ESA takes necessary steps with investment plans undergoing massive changes in bringing the space industry paced with similar organisations. Hardware, software, workforce all have to work on par to match the demand to qualify as a space agency. ESA has been the crowned possession of Europe for space missions as their critical thinkability, and futuristic optimism helped in gaining tons of achievements.

After the initial selection and training, the candidates will serve as professional crew members. These missions are safe and valuable for space exploration and keeping a steady footprint.


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