ESA introduces new class of Astronaut candidates

2022 ESA Astronaut Candidates

For the first time in 13 years, the European Space Agency has chosen a new class of astronauts. This group of 17 was chosen from a group of over 22,500 candidates and brings in five new career astronauts, 11 members of the astronaut reserve, and one astronaut with a disability as a member of the Parastronaut Feasibility Study.

ESA’s 2022 Astronaut class

The five selected career astronauts will undergo a year of basic training starting in the spring of 2023 before going into space station training with more mission-specific training.

Career astronauts

  • Sophie Adenot
  • Pablo Álvarez Fernández
  • Rosemary Coogan
  • Raphaël Liégeois
  • Marco Sieber.

“Today we welcome the 17 members of the new ESA astronaut class 2022. This ESA astronaut class is bringing ambition, talent and diversity in many different forms – to drive our endeavours, and our future. 

The continuous exploration in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station, going forward to the Moon – and beyond,” said ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher. 

In addition to these five career astronauts who will undergo full training for spaceflight, the agency – for the first time – chose 11 members to be part of the astronaut reserve who will undergo basic training.

Astronaut reserve

  • Meganne Christian
  • Anthea Comellini
  • Sara García Alonso
  • Andrea Patassa
  • Carmen Possnig
  • Arnaud Prost
  • Amelie Schoenenwald
  • Aleš Svoboda
  • Sławosz Uznański
  • Marcus Wandt
  • Nicola Winter

ESA’s first Parastronaut

Last year we learned that the ESA was looking for their first Parastronaut, and they have found their candidate in John McFall.

McFall is an accomplished Paralympian with extensive experience and degrees in sports and exercise science and a degree in medicine and surgery. He lost his right leg at the age of 19, and will take part in the Parastronaut Feasibility Project to help the agency overcome and eliminate current barriers to spaceflight for those with physical disabilities.

There are still numerous barriers to overcome to truly open space to everyone, and the ESA seems to be fully aware of that, but this is a great step forward. Just last year, Hayley Arceneaux became the first person to fly to space with a prosthesis as part of the three-day private Inspiration 4 mission.

Load more...
Show More Comments