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Parastronaut (m/f/d)

European Space Agency
Köln / Deutschland


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Parastronaut (m/f/d)


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), Köln (Germany) with the possibility of multi-year postings in Houston (USA) or Star City (Russia). 


The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for professionals who are able to conduct spaceflight missions to low Earth orbit and the Moon and to fulfil technical, scientific, managerial, or administrative tasks in support of the human spaceflight programme, and act as ambassadors of the ESA. 

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. 

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. 


  • Citizenship of an ESA Member State or Associate Member State**. 

  • Master’s degree in natural sciences, medicine, engineering, mathematics or computer sciences or a degree as experimental test pilot and/or test engineer from an official experimental test pilot school. 

  • At least three years of relevant professional experience after graduation. 

  • Fluency in English (minimum CEFR C1) is required 

  • Knowledge of one or more other language(s) is an asset 

  • Flexibility to cope with irregular working hours and frequent travel. 

  • Ability to remain calm under pressure 

  • Willingness to participate in life science experiments. 

ESA astronauts need to have sound practical skills and excellent communication abilities, including public speaking. 

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:  

  • Lower limb deficiency (e.g. due to amputation or congenital limb deficiency) as follows:  
    Single or double foot deficiency through ankle 
    Single or double leg deficiency below the knee 

  • Leg length difference (shortened limbs at birth or as a result of trauma) 

  • Short stature (Smaller than 130 cm) 

How to apply 

  • Applications are now open until 28 May 2021. The full list of requirements is provided in the job description, after you click on the “apply” button.

Additional information about an astronaut’s work and the selection process can be found in the Astronaut Applicant Handbook. You can also visit our Astronaut Selection website where the FAQs is being regularly updated or contact the Abteilung Raumfahrt of the Staatssekretariat für Bildung, Forschung und Innovation SBFI for further information. If you have a specific question which is not answered by the information provided, you can contact Click to send email.

The final outcome of the selection process will be announced in October 2022. 


* ESA Member State or Associate Member State include following countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom plus Slovenia and Latvia. 

** The meaning of the term “astronaut reserve” is described in the Astronaut Applicant Handbook