270 Irish candidates apply to join Europe’s space agency

There are 270 applications from Irish candidates among the more than 22,500 people who have applied to become the European Space Agency’s next astronauts.

During ESA’s last call for astronauts in 2008, the number of applicants who provided a medical certificate and finalised their online application form was 8,413.

Between four and six career astronauts will join the ESA workforce as permanent staff members, and there will be a reserve of up to 20 people who will not immediately be hired by the agency, but will remain with their current employers until a flight opportunity is identified for them.

In the latest recruitment round, 257 people applied for the newly-established parastronaut vacancy, including four candidates from Ireland.

Around 5,400 (24%) of all applicants identify as female – compared to a figure of 15.5% in 2008.

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