ESA search for first ever Parastronaut

European Space Agency: Astronaut recruitment drive for greater diversity

3 Para-astronuatsThe European Space Agency has launches its recruitment drive for new astronauts today – and for the first time ever, it is looking to recruit someone with a disability.

It has been 11 years since ESA looked to fill vacancies in its astro corps but this time the search will include a potential “parastronaut”, with advice from the International Paralympic Committee.

Dr David Parker, Director of ESA’s Robotics and Human Spaceflight programme commented: “To be absolutely clear, we’re not looking to hire a space tourist that happens also to have a disability. To be very explicit, this individual would do a meaningful space mission. So, they would need to do the science; they would need to participate in all the normal operations of the International Space Station (ISS). This is not about tokenism. We have to be able to justify to all the people who fund us – which is everybody, including people who happen to be disabled – that what we’re doing is somehow meaningful to everybody.”

The Be Ready team are very excited by this move! If any locals feel they have the skills to apply (including being able to speak Russian to work on the International Space Station!), use this link to find out more about the ESA Parastronaut Feasibility Programme.

Use this link to visit the BBC’s original article, which includes a video by Tim Peake.

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Composite image of astronaut sitting in a wheelchair