Swedish Marcus, 42, is one of Europe's new astronauts

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Published 24 November 2022 at 13.05

Domestic. The European Space Agency ESA has selected 17 new astronaut candidates from more than 22,500 applicants from all 22 Member States. Sweden is represented in the reserve squad with Marcus Wandt, 42, from Linköping.

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For two days, on November 22 and 23, ESA's member states, associated states and observers from cooperating states gathered in Paris for a ministerial council meeting and there to discuss how Europe's space sector should work and allocate budget in the coming years. As a conclusion, Europe's new astronaut candidates were also preset.

Over 22,500 people from all over Europe applied for the desirable dream of space and only 17 were selected. These include five career astronauts, eleven members of the astronaut reserve and one astronaut with a disability, what ESA calls a “paraastronaut”.

After the 12-month basic training, the new astronauts will be ready to enter the next phase of training for the space station and once assigned 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 consists of astronaut candidates who passed the entire selection process, but cannot be recruited at this time. The astronauts in the reserve stay with their current employers and receive a consulting contract and basic support. They will begin basic training should a flight be considered. In this group we find the Swede Marcus Wandt, test pilot and head of flight operations at SAAB Aeronautics in Linköping.