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Space agency seeks delegates for trip to European Astronaut Centre

The Australian Space Agency is seeking expressions of interest from companies and researchers to join its delegation to the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) to discuss human spaceflight.

The ASA said it would determine delegates’ suitability for the trip – pencilled in for mid-March – based on information supplied in an EOI, which you can view here.

Currently, it plans to take up to 10 successful delegates and, in particular, is seeking people with knowledge of space health and medicine, payload development and microgravity research, human spaceflight technology and other space sub-sectors associated with human spaceflight.

Those who attend will have to pay their own travel costs.


The European Astronaut Centre (EAC) started in 1990 and is located in Cologne, Germany.

The centre describes itself as the centre of excellence for astronaut selection, training, and support. It intends to equip astronauts with the skills and knowledge to fly to the ISS while preparing for the future of space exploration.

It significantly comes at the same time as Katherine Bennell-Pegg, the ASA’s director of space technology, studying at the EAC as Australia’s first formal astronaut in training.

She previously served as a reservist in the Army and said the skills she learned in Defence have helped her in her civil astronaut training.


Alongside being Australia’s first formal astronaut in training, Bennell-Pegg is also the first Australian woman to be trained by an international space agency.

Her studies began in April 2023 and will continue until the middle of this year. There is no guarantee she will necessarily be selected for a mission.

“I have always dreamed of being an astronaut,” she said previously. “When I was young, it was for the adventure, but after more than a decade working in space, it’s now because I know the role it plays in tackling real-world problems and developing new knowledge that can benefit our society, environment and science.

“It’s been a privilege to play a part in shaping our growing space sector in Australia in recent years, and I now look forward to contributing even more through this historic opportunity.

“I want to use this experience to open doors for Australian scientists and engineers to utilise space for their discoveries, to inspire the pursuit of STEM careers, and show all Australians that they, too, can reach for the stars.”

Bennell-Pegg is a dual Australia–UK citizen and privately applied to join the European Astronaut Corp when it was advertised in 2021.

It was the first selection process since 2009 and she was one of only 25 people to complete the program from 22,500 eligible applicants.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

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