Japan recruits first new astronauts in 13 years

Applicants may be selected for upcoming missions to the Moon or the International Space Station.


It’s a small step for Japan , but a great opportunity for applicants as the country is recruiting new astronauts  for the first time in more than a decade and applicants no longer need a scientific degree.

Aerospace Exploration Agency of Japan ( JAXA ) said encouraging women to stand, since the seven astronauts present in the country are men.

“We want to establish a (recruitment) system that is in line with the current era,” JAXA’s Kazuyoshi Kawasaki said in a media briefing.

Who can apply?

The selected candidates, who must be Japanese, will receive training and will be sent on missions, potentially to the Moon , the Lunar Portal or the International Space Station.

“Before we limited candidates to those with a degree in Natural Sciences, but many of us agreed that it is not a necessary requirement.”

However, the written exams will include college-level questions on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and applicants’ level of English will also be assessed.

JAXA indicated that it will accept applications between December 20, 2021 and March 4, 2022.

It is the first time that Japan has looked for rookie astronauts in 13 years, and this time it aims to recruit “some” with at least three years of work experience.

There is no age limit or gender quotas, and the agency lowered the height requirement to 149.5 centimeters.