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Female applicants for Russian astronaut team on the rise

October 24, 16:17 UTC+3 ZVEZDNY GORODOK

In March 2017, Roscosmos announced an open recruitment campaign for the national cosmonaut team that would participate in flights to the ISS and the Moon on the new Russian spacecraft

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© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

ZVEZDNY GORODOK /Moscow region/, October 24. /TASS/. The amount of female applicants seeking to join Russia’s cosmonaut team is greater than the previous recruitment drive, Acting Head of the national Cosmonauts Training Center Maksim Kharlamov said on Tuesday.

"During the current campaign, the number of girls applying for the cosmonaut team has grown," he said.

Besides, Kharlamov pointed to the increasing number of applicants among those working in the aviation and space industry. "We would like to see more people within a certain age range, who are connected to the industry, as we currently have only about 33% of such people, which, however, is more than in 2012 [around 16% of applications were made by the industry people then - TASS]," the acting head of the Russian Cosmonauts Training Center added.

Recruitment campaign

In March 2017, Russia’s Roscosmos State Corporation announced an open recruitment campaign for the national cosmonaut team that would participate in flights to the International Space Station and the Moon on the new Russian spacecraft - Federation. Recruits will undergo several stages of selection, where their education and professional level, state of health, psychological characteristics and physical fitness will be assessed.

Russian citizens not older than 35 years of age, who hold a university degree in engineering, the sciences or piloting, and also have work experience, are eligible to apply. During the selection, preference will be given to those who have already worked in Russia’s aviation and space industry.

Besides, applicants should also be capable of studying the use of space equipment, know how to work on computers, and have knowledge of English.

According to Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Space Flight Programs Sergey Krikalev, there are no restrictions based on gender or race.

This is going to be the 17th cosmonaut recruitment. The previous one, carried out in 2012, was special as for the first time the recruitment process was open so anyone, not just military pilots, and rocket and space industry staff, had a chance to file an application. That time, eight people were chosen out of 304 applicants. Six of them are still members of the astronaut unit.

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