Details on recruitment conditions will be available on 16th (Tuesday) and applications will run from 31 March to 28 May, according to ESA. The selection process will be divided into six stages and should be completed in October, according to the information released by the ESA
, in a statement. The ESA is also launching a pilot project that foresees the selection of a parastronaut, “the first astronaut with some level of disability”
The pilot parastronaut project will provide an opportunity to pursue an astronaut career "to a part of society that has so far been excluded from space flight", the organization stressed, adding that it is the first time in history that a space agency has undertaken an inclusive project of this magnitude. The astronaut recruitment campaign is part of a more comprehensive strategy by ESA, which aims to show “a high number of job opportunities” within the organisation.
The goal is to recruit around 100 people annually for the next 10 years. ESA also revealed that it expects to attract more women this year, indicating that in 2009 1,430 candidates were accepted, out of a total of 8,413. David Parker, director of Human and Robotics Exploration, quoted in the organisation's statement, argued that diversity at ESA should not only address the origin, age, experience or sex of astronauts, but "perhaps also physical disabilities" “Thanks to a strong mandate from ESA member states at the last ministerial council in 2019, Europe is taking its place at the center of space exploration,” said ESA, stressing: “To go where we have never been before, we need to look further than before ”.