Science and Tech

Pablo Álvarez begins his training as an ESA astronaut

New ESA astronaut candidates.  Pablo Álvarez is the third from the left

New ESA astronaut candidates. Pablo Álvarez is the third from the left – STEPHANE CORVAJA/ESA


ESA has started the one-year basic training course for its latest group of astronaut candidates, which includes Pablo Álvarez of Spain, at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne.

Together with Álvarez, the French Sophie Adenot, the British Rosemary Coogan, the Belgian Raphaël Liégeois and the Swiss Marco Sieber are part of the ESA astronaut class of 2022 who were selected from more than 22,500 applicants from ESA Member States in November 2022.

Pablo alvarez (1988), born in León, is a space engineer

The group assumed service at the European Astronaut Center to be trained to standards specified by the International Space Station partners.

During the first year of their training, astronaut candidates will undergo a training program to learn about space exploration, including technical and scientific skills, space systems and operations, and training such as spacewalking diving and survival training.

The first few weeks of their training will see them participating in ESA familiarization sessions, along with scientific seminars and fitness assessments.

Upon completing his basic training in the spring of 2024, candidates will be ESA certified astronauts and will be ready to enter the next phase of training of the Space Station called pre-assignment training. Once assigned to a mission, mission-specific training begins that will be tailored to the mission’s tasks, including hands-on training on ESA modules and technologies, as well as training with international partners.

The astronaut candidates join the current group of ESA astronauts who are actively involved in space missions and research projects. The next ESA astronaut to fly into space is Andreas Mogensen on his Huginn mission later this year.

Astronaut candidates are excited to start their journey to become ESA astronauts and be part of a team dedicated to space exploration, ready to take on the challenges of future missions, the agency reports in a statement.

“We are delighted to welcome Sophie, Pablo, Rosemary, Raphaël and Marco to the European Astronaut Center for their basic training. These five individuals were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, demonstrating the skills and dedication to succeed as ESA astronauts.

We look forward to supporting them every step of the way as they embark on this exciting journey of preparing for future space missions,” says Frank De Winne, Director of the European Astronaut Center and ESA’s International Space Station Program Manager.

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