The European Space Agency ESA has five new astronauts. I had more than 22,000 people signed up, under thousands of Dutch, but choices for new astronauts for information services are cases of candidates from France, België, Switzerland, Spain and Great Britain.
The new astronauts were presented in Paris. For there is first a candidate with a limited selection: the British Paralympic sprinter John McFall. He lost a 19-year-old right in a motorbike accident. As an athlete, he participated in the Paralympic Games for the United Kingdom. It is not certain that he is a “parastronaut” in space. The project is intended to look at space travel for astronauts with a possible limited location and what needs to happen.
The new astronauts were selected for a year of testing, interviews and simulations. You can come from a year arranged for a flight to the International Space Station ISS. In the future, they may also be able to participate in the missions of their way, but initially only experienced ESA astronauts will come for comments.
The new astronauts are Sophie Adenot from France, Pablo Álvarez Fernández from Spain, Rosemary Coogan from Great Britain, Marco Sieber from Switzerland and Raphaël Liégeois from België. Liégeois, a doctor in ingenieurswetenschappen, comes from Namen. Although he is from Wallonia, he also speaks Dutch and no other language. He becomes the third astronaut from België with Dirk Frimout and Frank De Winne.
IN Nieuws & Co on Radio 1, Liégeois says that he himself passed around 11.00 hours this morning to hear the new astronauts from ESA zat. “I am on the heels of Belgium being represented by ESA in the room. It was a children’s room and it is really, there are many emotions, I am very happy.”
Liégeois will, like other new astronauts, first spend a year in training before he will be selected for a space mission. They initially want to go to the International Space Station, but in the future it is probably also possible for a refugee to do so. “It’s a dream”, says Belg, “but a mission to the ISS is also for me”.
In addition to the five career astronauts, no part of the reserve astronauts has been selected. There are also no Dutch people here.
The committee has a longer six-month term. The selection of astronauts is based on their quality, but ESA also knows about male-female ratios. The actual contribution performance of the ESA member states for the exploration program of the space agency also plays a role. In recent years, België has had significantly more than the Netherlands.
Also Erik Laan, independent space expert and between 2003 and 2008 involved in the Mars program of ESA, is not mentioned in the Netherlands apart from the prize chosen. “The Netherlands has not written well Human & Robotic Exploration Program, the program for manning and robotic exploration in space. Other countries do it, and often also with a new astronaut from the country.”
In the last 3 years, the Netherlands paid almost 300 million euros on ESA, but it is per part less and many others 21 others. Large parts go to other programs from ESA. “The Netherlands is looking more closely at Earth observation, telecommunications and navigation, and looking after astronauts in space”, says Laan. “This is a personal well-being, want astronauts inspiring of course also: the André Kuipers effect. You don’t need to be on a podium to set up a part, so it works well.”
ESA created in Paris also familiar with the budget for the space agency for the coming three years good at 16.9 billion euros, more than 2.4 billion in the period 2019-2022. It is close to inflation, but also to greater investments in physical space travel, interplanetary missions and satellites for more climate research.