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ESA calls for Disabled astronauts

23 February 2021

The European Space Agency (ESA) is encouraging applications from Disabled astronauts for its latest recruitment drive. The ESA is looking for four to six new recruits, and has asked the International Paralympic Committee to assist with selection.

Applicants must have a master's degree or higher in Natural Sciences, Medicine, Engineering, Mathematics or Computer Sciences, or be qualified as an experimental test pilot, and must speak a second language fluently.

The ESA says that people with lower limb difference or restricted growth who may not have been eligible to apply before should consider applying this time round.

"We're not looking to hire a space tourist that happens also to have a Disability," ESA Director Dr David Parker told the BBC. "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).”

Those selected would be part of a feasibility project to improve on safety and technical support, with the intention to make ‘para astronauts’ a future reality.