European Space Agency seeks diversity in new astronaut drive

European Space Agency seeks diversity in new astronaut drive
On this June 11, 2015 file photograph, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti speaks by satellite tv for pc cellphone outdoors of the Soyuz TMA-15M house capsule after she and U.S. astronaut Terry Virts and Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov landed in a distant space outdoors the city of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. The ESA, NASA’s European equal, is highlighting variety within the drive: The ultimate frontier for such predominantly white and male businesses. This yr the ESA is seeking to recruit extra ladies astronauts, in addition to individuals with disabilities who all the time dreamed of going into house.(AP Picture/Ivan Sekretarev, Pool, File)

The European House Company is holding its first astronaut recruitment drive in 11 years and says better variety is without doubt one of the targets.


The European equal of NASA is in search of to recruit extra ladies astronauts this yr, in addition to individuals with disabilities who’ve all the time dreamed of going into house.

“We’re trying in direction of the Moon … and Mars. We’d like very glorious astronauts for the long run,” ESA Director Normal Jan Woerner stated Tuesday. “To go farther than we ever have earlier than, we have to look wider than we ever have earlier than.”

Solely 65 of the greater than 560 individuals who have ever gone into house have been ladies. Of these 65 ladies, 51 had been American. ESA has despatched solely two ladies into house—Claudie Haigneré and Samantha Cristoforetti—and is now making an attempt to redress the imbalance.

The company additionally stated the “time has come” to place disabled individuals into house as a part of an initiative known as the Parastronaut Feasibility Challenge. Based on ESA, it is the primary time {that a} house company wherever has opened the applying course of as much as individuals with disabilities.

“Representing all elements of our society is a priority that we take very severely,” David Parker, the company’s director of human and robotic exploration, stated. “Range at ESA mustn’t solely handle the origin, age, background or gender of our astronauts, but in addition maybe bodily disabilities.”

  • European Space Agency seeks diversity in new astronaut drive
    On this July 5, 2001 file photograph, French astronaut Claudie Haignere, proper, and her Russian crewmates Viktor Afanasyev, middle, and Konstantin Kozeyev practice contained in the mock-up of a Soyuz TM spacecraft in Star Metropolis. The ESA, NASA’s European equal, is highlighting variety within the drive: The ultimate frontier for such predominantly white and male businesses. This yr the ESA is seeking to recruit extra ladies astronauts, in addition to individuals with disabilities who all the time dreamed of going into house.(AP Picture/Mikhail Metzel, File)
  • European Space Agency seeks diversity in new astronaut drive
    On this Oct.11, 2001 file photograph, French astronaut Claudie Haignere, left, speaks to the media as her Russian crewmate Viktor Afanasyev appears to be like on in Star Metropolis, Russia. The ESA, NASA’s European equal, is highlighting variety within the drive: The ultimate frontier for such predominantly white and male businesses. This yr the ESA is seeking to recruit extra ladies astronauts, in addition to individuals with disabilities who all the time dreamed of going into house. (AP Picture/Mikhail Metzel, File)
  • European Space Agency seeks diversity in new astronaut drive
    On this Nov.23, 2014 file photograph, Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, crew member of the mission to the Worldwide House Station, ISS, speaks together with her kin previous to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket on the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The ESA, NASA’s European equal, is highlighting variety within the drive: The ultimate frontier for such predominantly white and male businesses. This yr the ESA is seeking to recruit extra ladies astronauts, in addition to individuals with disabilities who all the time dreamed of going into house. (AP Picture/Dmitry Lovetsky, Pool, File)

The company stated that, based mostly on classes set by the Worldwide Paralympic Committee, it’s going to initially take into account purposes from people with decrease limb deficiency under the knee or ankle, excessive variations in leg size, or under 130 centimeters (four ft three inches) in top.

British astronaut Tim Peake welcomed the initiative, saying it “will hopefully change the panorama” so individuals from various backgrounds “will see that really there is a chance right here to grow to be a part of Europe’s new house pioneers.”

The applying course of, company officers say, will take some 18 months earlier than a handful of astronauts are chosen.


Europe to send modules, astronauts to NASA moon station


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