Japanese space agency to recruit new astronauts for first time in 13 years

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to participate in US lunar exploration project


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Published: Fri 19 Nov 2021, 5:00 PM

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has announced the recruitment of new astronauts, the first intake in 13 years, as part of the nation’s ambitious plan to participate in the United States lunar exploration project.

“The working area is Earth and space. A business trip without a family to the International Space Station or a long trip to a base on the lunar surface is possible,” the announcement said.

Applications will be running from December 20, 2021, to March 4, 2022. The announcement also said that only Japanese citizens with normal vision, hearing and colour perception were allowed to apply. Height restrictions are 58.8 inches through 75 inches. Convicted offenders or those associated with extremist groups and parties are not allowed to participate in the competition, according to the announcement.


In March 2022, the identity check shortlisting will take place, followed by an interview and tests for first stage winners. The recruitment results will be announced in February 2023 after a four stage-competition.

Astronaut recruitment in Japan has been carried out five times so far, 11 people have passed the competition, seven of them are on active duty. The competition was last held in 2008 when three out of 963 candidates were shortlisted.

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