Japan to Accept Applications for New Astronauts

Politics Science Society

Tokyo, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan will begin accepting applications for new astronauts for the first time in 13 years, science minister Shinsuke Suematsu said Friday.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, plans to select a few candidates by February 2023 to take part in the Artemis international lunar exploration project, potentially making them the first Japanese to land on the moon.

It is the sixth time that JAXA accepts applicants for new astronauts, with the last recruiting taking place in 2008. From now on, the agency plans to solicit applications for astronauts roughly once every five years.

JAXA abolished its requirement of a four-year university degree in the field of natural sciences, in order to attract a diversity of talents. Candidates must have at least three years of work experience to apply.

Although the change in eligibility requirements opens up the possibility of candidates with degrees in the field of humanities, they will still be tested for knowledge and backgrounds in natural sciences.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press