New Space and Tech

New ESA Astronaut Candidates Start Basic Training

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
April 4, 2023
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New ESA Astronaut Candidates Start Basic Training
ESA welcomed its latest group of astronaut candidates yesterday at its European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany, at the start of their one-year basic training to prepare for future space missions.

ESA astronaut candidates Sophie Adenot, Pablo Álvarez Fernández, Rosemary Coogan, Raphaël Liégeois and Marco Sieber are part of the ESA astronaut class of 2022 who were selected from over 22 500 applicants from ESA Member States in November 2022.

The group took up duty at the European Astronaut Centre to be trained to the standards specified by the International Space Station partners.

During the first year of their training, the astronaut candidates will undergo a training programme to learn about space exploration, including technical and scientific skills, space systems and operations, and training such as scuba diving for spacewalk and survival training.

The first weeks of their training will see them taking part in sessions to familiarise them with ESA, alongside scientific seminars and fitness assessments.

Upon completion of their basic training in spring 2024, the candidates will be certified ESA astronauts and ready to enter the next Space Station training phase called pre-assignment training. Once assigned to a mission, mission-specific training begins which will be tailored to mission tasks, including hands-on training on ESA modules and technologies, as well as training with international partners.

The astronaut candidates join the current group of ESA astronauts who are actively involved in space missions and research projects. The next ESA astronaut to fly to space is Andreas Mogensen on his Huginn mission later this year.

The astronaut candidates are excited to start their journey to become ESA astronauts and being part of a team dedicated to space exploration, ready to take on the challenges of future missions.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sophie, Pablo, Rosemary, Raphaël, and Marco to the European Astronaut Centre for their basic training. These five individuals were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, showing the skills and dedication to succeed as ESA astronauts.

We look forward to supporting them every step of the way as they embark on this exciting journey of preparing for future space missions”, says Frank De Winne, head of the European Astronaut Centre and ESA’s International Space Station programme manager.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.