After seeking out future candidates interested in becoming Europe’s next generation of astronauts, the European Space Agency has been swarmed with applications–a health sign that Europe’s quest for the stars is not only alive and well, but it is just warming up.

(Space Travel) At the close of the application phase which lasted a month, 8413 aspiring astronauts provided a medical certificate and finalised the online application form. This qualifies them for the next step in the selection process. […]

“We now have a large number of highly qualified applicants. I am confident that we will find the outstanding individuals we are looking for. This will be ensured by the next selection steps, starting with a first round of psychological testing,” said Michel Tognini, Head of the European Astronaut Centre. 

Most of the applications were from France and Germany, although to the article the vast majority of them were from men (note: where are all of the ladies?). This is a good sign for Europe, as having their own space program will help keep NASA and China competitive (and perhaps help ease tensions between the two as well).

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