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Dream job astronaut More than 22,000 applications for space Once in space – many have that dream. More than 22,000 people want to become astronauts and have applied to the European space agency ESA. However, this dream will only come true for six candidates.

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Dream job astronaut More than 22,000 applications for space

Status: 23.06.2021 3:43 p.m.

Once into space – many have the dream. More than 22,000 people want to become astronauts and have applied to the European space agency ESA. However, this dream will only come true for six candidates. More than 22,000 people want a job in space: That’s how many applications the European Space Agency ESA received for astronaut training, the ESA announced. Among them are 3700 applicants from Germany. By the deadline last Friday, 5,400 women applied, which is a share of 24 percent – nine percentage points more than in the last call in 2008.

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A “tough competition” for the dream job

The number of applicants also increased overall: in 2008 around 8,400 people were interested in training at ESA, less than half as many as now. The space agency now wants to select four to six candidates for astronaut training from the pool by October 2022 – but also a “reserve” of up to 20 people. ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher spoke of tough competition. “It is a dream job to be an astronaut.”

The selection process has six stages – the skills of the candidates are examined with, among other things, tests in the cognitive and technical areas. Applicants must have at least a master’s degree in natural sciences, engineering, mathematics or computer science. There are requirements for height, the age limit is 50 years. The new space crew should not be known until the end of next year.

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For the first time also “para-astronauts”

For the first time, the space agency also wants to train so-called para-astronauts – those with physical impairments such as short stature or a handicap of the legs. More than 200 applications were received for this.

The role model for many is the German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who became known as “Astro-Alex”. He spent around half a year on the International Space Station ISS in 2014 and 2018. On his second mission, he was the first German to take command of the space station