Vacancy in the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes.
ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. For this purpose, we welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.
Should the “Parastronaut Fly!” Feasibility Project successfully lead to an opportunity to fly into space, the successful candidate will be offered a post abiding by the location conditions applicable for astronauts positions. This includes: European Astronaut Centre (EAC), Porz-Wahn (Germany) with the possibility of multi-year postings in Houston (USA) or Star City (Russia).
This special vacancy notice is a call for interest to people with a physical disability to be selected for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) astronaut reserve(*). The successful candidate will become part of the “Parastronaut Fly!” Feasibility Project, an initiative investigating the feasibility of bringing, for the first time in history, an astronaut with a physical disability into space to perform professional duties.
We are looking for professionals who would be able to conduct spaceflight missions to low Earth orbit and the Moon and to fulfil technical, scientific, managerial and administrative tasks to support the Human Spaceflight Programme in particular, and ESA in general.
ESA astronauts are amongst the most visible players in human spaceflight, working under the authority of the Leader of the LEO Exploration Group. Due to their high visibility, astronauts are natural ambassadors for the Agency and its programmes. ESA astronauts need to have sound practical skills and excellent communication abilities, including public speaking. Supporting the “Parastronaut-Fly!” Feasibility Project and working towards enabling professional astronauts with a physical disability to participate to space missions will require from you the willingness to be a spokesperson, not just for the space programme but also for the worldwide community of people with a disability.
ESA is establishing for the first time an astronaut reserve. All applicants for this vacany will need to pass the selection process after which the successful candidate(s) will be offered a place in the reserve.
Any person wishing to be selected as the first astronaut with a physical disability in the ESA astronaut reserve must have an eligible disability. The following disabilities are considered to be eligible:
If you fail to meet the above eligible disability criteria, it does not call into question whether or not you have a genuine disability. It merely means that you do not meet the eligibility requirements to compete in the selection process for the astronaut with a physical disability.
For more information on the work of the ESA astronauts, on the “Parastronaut Fly!” Feasibility Project, on the selection and the applicable criteria, please refer to the Astronaut Applicant Handbook.
If you do not have a physical disability or one of the eligible disabilities, we encourage you to consider the second vacancy notice that ESA has published to recruit candidates for the ESA astronaut corps.
Astronauts in the reserve will receive introductory training and be called and trained for missions when and if these arise. They will remain employed by their current employers with a letter of agreement with ESA covering their participation in the reserve. If and when asked to conduct a mission, they will need to sign a letter of appointment with ESA for the duration of the mission. Furthermore, while in the reserve, the astronaut(s) with a physical disability will participate in the “Parastronaut-Fly!” Feasibility Project.
If the project successfully leads to an opportunity to fly into space and consequently to being recruited as one of the ESA Astronauts, you will perform a wide range of duties, including:
The tasks above may evolve as the ESA Human Spaceflight Programme is further developed in the coming years.
Fine motor skills
Strong analytical and reporting skills
Ability to rapidly assimilate and synthesise complex information
Ability to perform public relation and educational activities (targeting especially children and students)
Ability to learn additional languages as operationally required
As a potential ESA astronaut, you will need to show strong motivation and be able to cope with extended periods of high workload, irregular working hours, frequent travel, and long absences from home, your family and normal social life. Flexibility with regards to the place of work (inside or outside Europe) is required. An ability to act calmly under pressure is essential as well as strict adherence to ethical values, such as integrity, fair and equal treatment, social dialogue and transparency.
You need to be willing to be an operator for animal research that has been approved by all required ethical boards and you need to be willing to participate in life science experiments as a test subject.
You are expected to
When you apply to this vacancy, you will be required to upload a medical certificate delivered by any physician stating that, if not for your disability, you would fulfil the criteria for a medical certificate for private airplane pilots (aeromedical certificate class 2 for Europe or equivalent(*****)).
You will also receive separate instructions how to securely upload the medical documentation describing your disability to the extent necessary for the eligible disability criteria to be verified. On the basis of the evidence submitted with the application, the ESA Medical Board will determine your eligibility to participate in the astronaut selection process. Furthermore, you will need to pass a selection process consisting of several stages as well as undergo medical, psychological and other aptitude tests.
For more information on the rationale behind the selection of eligible disabilities, the additional training requirements and selection criteria, please refer to the Astronaut Applicant Handbook.
It is considered highly desirable if you have experience in or have been previously exposed to one or more of the below areas:
It is a definite advantage to already possess one or more of the following technical skills. However, it is not strictly necessary to have previous experience in all of these areas as you will be evaluated on the basis of your potential to perform and learn these skills through the appropriate training activities:
Upon recruitment, ESA Astronauts can be assigned to partner space agencies for up to several years. Such assignment usually entail relocating to another (non-European) country.
(*) The meaning of the term “astronaut reserve” is described in the Astronaut Applicant Handbook
(**) Master’s degree according to the Bologna Declaration (1999), and further applicable regulations
(***) These schools include EPNER (France), ETPS (UK), USAF TPS (US Air Force) and USNTPS (US Navy), as well as NTPS (US). Candidates with these qualifications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may be asked to provide a copy of their diploma or statement from their school regarding the level of the qualification.
(****) Language proficiency according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
(*****) For the purpose of the Astronaut (with a physical disability) selection ESA will accept certificates based on the criteria defined for any of the European Part MED, UK CAA and Canada CAR certificates for private pilots (class 2). Medical criteria for USA FAA certificates for private pilots (class 3) can also be accepted by equivalence.
For a complete job description and to apply, click on “apply”.
The closing date for applications is 28 May 2021.
At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities. Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace. The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Latvia and Slovenia.
In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment.
We are the European Space Agency. Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over Earth, develop and launch inspiring and unique space projects, train astronauts and push the boundaries of science and technology, seeking answers to the big questions about the Universe. We are a family of scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over Europe working together in a diverse and multinational environment. We are dedicated to united space in Europe and united Europe in space. Learn more: http://www.esa.int/