ESA Astronaut Selection Proceeds with Psychological Exams

Arnaud Beck, director of clinical research at MEDES, a health subsidiary of CNES. (Credits: MEDES)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The recruitment of the next ESA astronauts continues. Phase 2 began with the psychotechnical tests and will continue until the end of May with the psychological assessments. 404 French men and women are still in the race.

22,523 Europeans had applied last year to become a member of the European Astronaut Corps. A 1st selection on file selected 1,361, including 250 French and 154 French women, who therefore began phase 2 at the start of the year. And that’s where the serious stuff begins. 

“Phase 2 is divided into 2 stages ,” explains Arnaud Beck, director of clinical research at MEDES, the health subsidiary of CNES, and in charge of organizing part of the tests. The 1st (called phase 2.1) takes place in Hamburg, it involves psycho technical and cognitive tests : memorization, mental calculation… There is also an exercise which takes place in front of a control screen: the candidates must manage several parameters simultaneously, using different joysticks and controllers. They are also assessed on their level of English. This stage, which ends in early March, should see around 400 candidates access phase 2.2, which began on 01/31 in Cologne, at the European Astronaut Center (EAC).

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New Adventures in Beds and Baths for Spaceflight

The masks are part of a system to estimate energy requirements. They measures how much oxygen is consumed and how much carbon dioxide is exhaled by the volunteers. These measurements allow scientists to get an idea of the relationship between food, the lungs and the energy consumption when at rest. (Credit: CNES-E. Grimault, 2013)

TOULOUSE, France (ESA PR) — ESA is expanding its bedrest programme that allows researchers to study how human bodies react to living in space – without leaving their bed.

In weightlessness, astronauts’ bodies lose muscle and bone density, eyes change, fluids shift to the brain and more – our bodies adapted to life on Earth and are not designed for spaceflight.

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