Innovation & Technology

Hungary is sending a research astronaut to the International Space Station

Strict conditions must be met by participants in the Hungarian astronaut selection process.

The government sees space research programs as a key area for economic and technological growth, said Orsolya Ferencz, Ministerial Commissioner for Space Research at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She made her remarks at the opening of the 33rd Congress of the International Astronaut Association being held November 1–5 in Budapest.

The first Hungarian government space strategy was published to highlight the strengths and challenges of the sector and to formulate priority projects. These range from the launch of the first Hungarian commercial satellite and the development of the related terrestrial segment to improving education in space research and participating more actively in international initiatives related to space research, she said.

During the 30–60-day mission, a Hungarian astronaut will be able to test world-class Hungarian innovations and conduct unique experiments at the International Space Station, according to MTI.

The ministerial commissioner said that applicants to the newly launched Hunor (Hungarian for “Orbit”) program would be signing up for a scientific mission. In addition to height, weight and other parameters that meet international standards, higher education, knowledge of English and preferably Russian as well, mental stability, and the ability to work in a team are especially important.

Retired Brigadier General Bertalan Farkas, the first Hungarian astronaut, said that the mission could last for a month or even a quarter.

Ferencz pointed out that the selection process will be carried out in cooperation with the European Space Agency (ESA), in accordance with ESA’s Astronaut Policy, and include thorough physical and psychological examinations and professional assessments. 

Those interested can apply for the national astronaut program until January 31, 2022, on the hunor.gov.hu ​​website.

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