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Applicants From All ESA Member States To Become An European Astronaut

"I am very pleased that we have received so many applications stemming from all our 17 ESA Member States," says Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight. "This shows that the strong commitment for Human Spaceflight and Exploration, which ESA and its Member States demonstrated in holding the first astronaut selection after more than 15 years, is met by an equally strong interest from European citizens."
by Staff Writers
Cologne, Germany (SPX) Jun 24, 2008
SA began its search for new astronauts on 19 May, calling for applications from talented individuals who wish to join the European Astronaut Corps. Almost 10 000 individuals registered to begin the application process.

At the close of the application phase which lasted a month, 8413 aspiring astronauts provided a medical certificate and finalised the online application form. This qualifies them for the next step in the selection process.

Details
Most of the applications were received from France (22.1%) and Germany (21.4%) followed by Italy (11.0%), the United Kingdom (9.8%) and Spain (9.4%). 16% of the total of applications were submitted by women. Further details are in the table below.

The Astronaut Selection Team, based at the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany, now has the challenging task to select the best applicants. Those who make it through this first selection can soon expect to receive a letter inviting them to participate in the next stage - the psychological testing.

Psychological testing
"We now have a large number of highly qualified applicants. I am confident that we will find the outstanding individuals we are looking for. This will be ensured by the next selection steps, starting with a first round of psychological testing," said Michel Tognini, Head of the European Astronaut Centre.

Those tests aim to identify the psychological and technical skills of the applicants, who will be tested in different fields including visual memory and psychomotor aptitude.

"I am very pleased that we have received so many applications stemming from all our 17 ESA Member States," says Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight. "This shows that the strong commitment for Human Spaceflight and Exploration, which ESA and its Member States demonstrated in holding the first astronaut selection after more than 15 years, is met by an equally strong interest from European citizens."

To ISS and beyond
This campaign is ESA's first astronaut selection since 1992, providing the opportunity to be at the forefront of ESA's human spaceflight programmes, including future missions to the ISS and beyond.

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NASA Selects Explorer Mission Of Opportunity Investigations
Washington DC (SPX) Jun 23, 2008
NASA has selected two science proposals to be the agency's next Explorer Program Mission of Opportunity investigations. One activity will study black holes and other extreme environments in the universe. The other will determine how the Earth's outer atmosphere responds to external forces.







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