Projects: ESA Astronaut Selection Test


Credits: ESA Website

About the project

Trainers at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany are always looking for ways to improve their methods. Part of the job is to find out who is suitable to become an astronaut in the first place.

One of the many challenges faced by astronauts is working in three-dimensional space. In a weightless universe, up can become down and left can become right depending on which way you are floating.

With the Astronaut Selection Test, the European Space Agency (ESA), Swedish Defence Research Agency FOI and NLR are collaborating to give you the opportunity to test for yourself if you have the right stuff to be an astronaut. The test is open for everyone to participate.

European Astronaut Centre experts in robotics and spacecraft docking worked with psychologists to design the test.

How I can participate

The results of this test will be used to improve the future selection of astronauts.

Your task is to move and turn an object to fit exactly in a new position in three dimensions. The task is made harder because all your moves need to be programmed beforehand and the goal is to use as few as possible.

ESA’s Head of Astronaut Training, Rüdiger Seine, explains: “By ‘playing’ with the test online you will help the team validate it, essentially making sure it works. For us, the more people who participate, the better.”

Start thinking like an astronaut

Additional links

ESA website

NLR website

Credits and texts

ESA website


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