ESA title
Science & Exploration

Employment conditions

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / European Astronaut Selection


What is the contractual basis of an ESA astronaut?

ESA astronauts are staff members of the European Space Agency. They are remunerated in accordance with ESA’s Staff Regulations Rules and Instructions.

As an astronaut, what sort of salary could I expect?

The ESA astronaut position is classified in the A2/A4 grade band of the Coordinated Organizations’ salary scale. Upon entering the ESA Astronaut Corps, new recruits will generally be paid at the A2 level. Following the successful completion of the basic astronaut training, the recruit will be paid in accordance with the grade A3. The promotion to the grade A4 generally follows after the first spaceflight. Any allowances will be paid according to ESA’s Staff Regulations Rules and Instructions as well as any relevant policies.

If I become an ESA astronaut, where will I be posted?

The new class of ESA astronauts will be posted at the European Astronaut Centre near Cologne, Germany. During training periods, astronauts may be posted either in the United States or in Russia as required by the mission. The duration of the posting in the United States or in Russia may be several years. After that, the astronauts will normally return to EAC.

What else should I know about being employed by ESA?

See ESA’s careers website.