ESA title
Announcement of ESA Astronaut Class of 2022
Science & Exploration

ESA presents new generation of astronauts

23/11/2022 165683 views 190 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration

The European Space Agency has chosen 17 new astronaut candidates from more than 22 500 applicants from across its Member States. In this new 2022 class of ESA astronauts are five career astronauts, 11 members of an astronaut reserve and one astronaut with a disability. 

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher introduced the members of the 2022 ESA astronaut class, the first new recruits in 13 years, today at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris, France, shortly after the ESA Council at Ministerial level ended. 

The ESA astronaut candidates are

Name  Member State   
Sophie Adenot  France  Career Astronaut 
Pablo Álvarez Fernández Spain Career Astronaut
Meganne Christian  UK  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Anthea Comellini  Italy  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Rosemary Coogan  UK  Career Astronaut
Sara García Alonso  Spain  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Raphaël Liégeois  Belgium  Career Astronaut
John McFall  UK  Parastronaut Feasibility Study Member
Andrea Patassa  Italy  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Carmen Possnig  Austria  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Arnaud Prost  France  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Amelie Schoenenwald  Germany  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Marco Sieber  Switzerland  Career Astronaut
Aleš Svoboda  Czech Republic  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Sławosz Uznański  Poland  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Marcus Wandt Sweden  Member of the Astronaut Reserve
Nicola Winter  Germany  Member of the Astronaut Reserve

“Today we welcome the 17 members of the new ESA astronaut class 2022. This ESA astronaut class is bringing ambition, talent and diversity in many different forms – to drive our endeavours, and our future. 

“The continuous exploration in low Earth orbit on the International Space Station, going forward to the Moon – and beyond,” said ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher. 

ESA’s director of Human and Robotic Exploration, David Parker, added “This is an extraordinary time for human spaceflight and for Europe. After the successful launch of Artemis I with ESA’s European Service Module powering Orion to the Moon, we are on the forefront of human space exploration. We are delighted to have this group of extremely talented people, to continue European science and operations on the International Space Station and beyond.” 

Watch a replay (below) of the announcement event, held at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris, France, and moderated by Louise Houghton.



ESA’s new astronaut candidates will take up duty at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. They will be trained to the highest level of standards as specified by the International Space Station partners. 

Frank De Winne, head of the European Astronaut Centre and ESA’s International Space Station programme Manager said: “We are excited to welcome the new ESA astronaut class of 2022 and I am looking forward to see all these ambitious young career astronaut candidates joining us for their first training at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in spring 2023, going forward to explore and shape space exploration.” 

After completion of the 12-month basic training, the new astronauts will be ready to enter the next Space Station training phase and, once assigned to a mission, their training will be tailored to specific mission tasks.  

For the first time, ESA has established a reserve pool of astronauts. This reserve list is composed of astronaut candidates who were successful throughout the entire selection process but cannot be recruited at this point in time. Astronauts in the reserve remain with their current employers and will receive a consultancy contract and basic support. They will start basic training in case a flight opportunity has been identified. 

ESA also selected one astronaut candidate with a physical disability. He will take part in the Parastronaut Feasibility Project to develop options for the inclusion of astronauts with physical disabilities in human spaceflight and possible future missions.

The ESA astronaut class 2022 includes five career astronauts, 11 reserve astronauts as well as one astronaut with a physical disability.