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Watch live: ESA astronaut class of 2022 graduation ceremony

Written by  Friday, 19 April 2024 06:51
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ESA's latest astronaut recruits, including Sophie Adenot, Pablo Álvarez Fernández, Rosemary Coogan, Raphaël Liégeois, Marco Sieber and Australian Space Agency candidate Katherine Bennell-Pegg, are wrapping up their year-long basic training.

Marking their transition to fully qualified astronauts eligible for space missions, they will receive their certifications at ESA's European Astronaut Centre near Cologne on 22 April.

Selected from a remarkable pool of 22 500 applicants across ESA Member States, the ESA astronaut class of 2022 comprises 17 individuals, including five astronaut candidates and 12 members in the European astronaut reserve.

Among them is Katherine Bennell-Pegg, from Sydney. In the process of making history as Australia’s first female astronaut, she joined ESA’s astronaut candidates for basic training through a cooperation agreement with ESA.

Their collective journey began in April 2023 upon their arrival at the European Astronaut Centre. Over the past year, they have immersed themselves in a comprehensive training programme, covering various areas such as spacecraft systems, spacewalks, flight engineering, robotics, life support systems, survival, and medical training.

Following their certification, these brand-new astronauts will progress to specialised pre-assignment and mission training, setting the stage for missions to the International Space Station and beyond.

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