As I sit in Inverness, taking a break from my final preparations for the expedition, which I embark upon tonight, I thought I had better post the latest update on my astronaut journey.
Sadly I didn’t make it through to Round 3 in Cologne. I recently received the rejection email along with all of the lovely people I met at Astronaut Selection in Hamburg back in September.
Of course I’m disappointed – I really wanted to make it to Cologne to try out my language skills and to get to spend a decent amount of time with other candidates, but I’m REALLY pleased to have made it through the initial rounds of selection.
ESA also recently published the statistics surrounding the applicants.
I was one of 22,523 applicants, and one of only 1,361 to be invited to Round 2, so I made it to the final 6%.
I can’t wait to hear more about the 400 amazing individuals that have made it through to the next round.
I tend to be gender-blind enough that I’m not keen on tracking male/female stats but there is a clear need to keep pushing to ensure that wonderful women and girls don’t limit themselves or self-select themselves out of the running for things like this.
Imagine if the final astronaut line-up ends up having more female astronauts than males ones from an initial field of only 24% women… A pretty strong signal has already been sent with the down-selection for Round 2 – the proportion of women jumped to 39%. I hope we never ever get a whiff of positive discrimination (so damaging to everyone), but I really hope we get to see that these women are kick-ass in their own right.
I hope that this next set of ESA astronauts inspires a generation to push themselves to go for it – whatever “it” is, and to genuinely begin to believe that the ONLY real failure is when you don’t try.
As I have been reminded by friends on this journey…
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
So, I’m honoured to have been able to take some steps along this journey, and I am thrilled for those who made it to the next step – I can’t wait to see what they get up to. Ad astra x