New CSA, ESA, and JAXA Astronauts
In a press release earlier today, CSA said it would announce its two new astronauts on May 13. Back in March, I reported that CSA released a great deal of information on the top 16 astronaut candidates in its recruitment campaign. This included biographies of the top 16 candidates and video and photos of their evaluation and testing. CSA has been very good with keeping the public informed through the astronaut selection process with regular posts to its website. I liked how CSA was able to interview a relatively large pool of applicants remotely via teleconference, which is something NASA did not do. As I reported in a previous post, CSA had 5352 applicants for only 2 slots. This makes CSA's selectivity 2/5352 = 0.037%!
May 13 Update: CSA has announced its two newest astronauts David Saint-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen. Congratulations!
In another press release earlier today, ESA said they will present the new Eurpoean astronauts on May 20. In previous news releases, ESA has been very good about keeping the public informed on the status of the selection process during each of its stages. They even have a nice breakdown of the applicant pool by nationality and gender on their website. ESA had 8413 applicants for only 4 slots, so their selectivity is 4/8413 = 0.048%.
I am a little embarrassed to say that I missed reporting JAXA's February 25 news release announcing the selection of Japan's two newest astronauts Takuya Onishi and Kimiya Yui. The JAXA website says they reported for duty on April 1 and that they will be trained to operate experiments in the Japanese "Kibo" ISS module. 2 out of 963 applicants makes JAXA's selectivity 0.21%.
NASA is also closing in on the final group of astronaut candidates with the current pool now lower than 40 people. As far as I know, the interviews are complete, and NASA is in the process of choosing the finalists. We can expect the announcement to happen later this month. Perhaps NASA will coordinate the release with ESA, in which case we may know next week. I wish NASA were as effective as CSA and ESA in updating its website throughout the astronaut selection process; in previous astronaut selection cycles, they have issued regular news releases, but that didn't happen this time. Assuming NASA chooses 12 astronaut candidates from a reported pool of 3564 applicants, that makes NASA's selectivity 0.34%.
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who's helped chip in to my FMARS fund so far!