In August, the ESA combed through most of the applications, and even after rejecting around 20% of them because they “Did not meet the requirements set out in the applicable documentation”, still remains with over 18,000 potentially good candidates. And that means there is a lot of waiting to be done in the months to come.
By stating that the pure volume means that the whole process “Simply takes longer than initially expected”, the agency’s head of space medicine, Guillaume Weerts, asks future astronauts to be patient and wait for the invitation to arrive.
“We really want to thank everyone who stood out. We fully understand how important these applications are to applicants, and we strive to make the outcome of their application known as soon as possible to all who applied ”, said the official.
It would be an invitation to a full day of testing at an undisclosed facility in Europe, where likely a large number of applicants will be rejected. ESA estimates that it will take at least until November to inform all these people of the outcome of their application.
But this is only the beginning, because the whole process, after which ESA will know the names of its future astronauts, is expected to take at least a year and a half.
As space exploration enters a new phase of faster development, ESA seeks to create what he calls an astronaut reserve from which to find the people he needs for his future missions.
No exact figure on how many astronauts the agency will select at the end of this process has been given.