BRITAIN’S space chiefs are looking for the UK’s next astronaut to take to the heavens – and are inviting the public to apply.
The UK Space Agency is set to launch its first recruitment drive in a decade to send a brave explorer to the International Space Station (ISS).
British astronaut Tim Peake making his first spacewalk at the International Space Station in January 2016. The UK Space Agency is due to launch its search for another space explorer[/caption]
Due to begin next year, the selection campaign is just the third since the European Space Agency (ESA) was created in 1975.
And only the most recent drive in 2009-2009 resulted in a Brit being selected – with Britain’s first ESA astronaut Major Tim Peake given the honour.
Would-be applicants will ideally be aged between 27 and 37 and have a masters degree in science, medicine or engineering, the Daily Mail reports.
Experience as a pilot is “a plus” – while the ideal height of candidates will be between 5ft and 6ft 2ins.
Are YOU fit for space? The desired attributes UK Space Agency chiefs are looking for in a new astronaut
- Aged between 27 and 37
- Height between 5ft and 6ft 2ins
- Experience as a pilot, although not necessarily in the military
- Good eyesight
- Impeccable memory
- Strong hand-eye coordination
- Ability to multitask
- Fluency in Russian
- Calm and considerate demeanour
- Adept at public speaking
Fluency in Russian will also be viewed favourably by selectors – as the mission to the ISS will take place on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
Becoming an expert Russian-speaker will be among the toughest parts of the training process, according to space travellers.
Denmark’s first astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, once said that learning Russian was his biggest challenge.
Also among the ideal attributes will be good eyesight – although glasses-wearers will also be considered as long as their vision is not deteriorating.
Maj Tim Peake on the International Space Station. He was Britain’s first European Space Agency astronaut[/caption]
And hot-heads need not apply – as space bosses want someone who can get on with their fellow astronauts during the lengthy mission.
The ESA warns: “It is a challenge to live in a confined space for long periods with other people.
“Would-be astronauts also need self-control and an equable temperament to cope with stress and any emergency that may arise.”
Rigorous psychological testing of memory, multi-tasking ability and hand-eye coordination will also take place for those shortlisted.
Maj Peake was an RAF pilot – but UK space chiefs say military experience isn’t necessary for astronauts[/caption]
Competition is set to be tough – with around 10,000 people applying in the last round of selection.
From that process, RAF pilot Maj Tim Peake was selected in 2013 to blast off to the ISS – which he did in 2016.
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But the lucky winner will join an elite club – with only around 550 people having gone into space so far.
A UK Space Agency spokesman said: “Tim Peake is a member of the European Space Agency Astronaut Corps and there could be a search for additional astronauts starting as early as next year.
“So if you think you have what it takes, get ready.”
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