Pablo Álvarez Fernández

may become the next Spaniard to travel to space.

This Wednesday he has been chosen by the European Space Agency (ESA) among the astronauts of the new promotion.

Sara García Alonso

also appears on the list, although with the status of substitute .

Since 2009, ESA had not chosen new astronauts.

Those chosen will join the current astronaut corps, in the usual missions to the International Space Station, but it is also expected that NASA will include a European astronaut in the manned missions of its Artemis program to return to the Moon.

Until now, only two Spaniards have gone into space:

Pedro Duque

(ESA) from Madrid, who has traveled into space twice as a NASA astronaut;


Michael López-Alegría

(born in Spain but with American nationality and therefore as a NASA astronaut).

López-Alegría, already retired from NASA, did carry the Spanish flag on his last mission into space in Axiom-1, a private mission that he commanded with three millionaires, the first mission of private astronauts

The new promotion of astronauts responds to a call launched in February 2021, the first in eleven years, which was a massive success with the presentation of 22,523 applicants.

The announcement was made at the ministerial-level meeting of the Council of the European Space Agency, held in Paris, and in which the strategy and budget for the coming years have been studied.

"Spain deserves to be part of the new generation of

European astronauts," the Spanish Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, told EFE on Tuesday.

"(Our country) has made a strong commitment to the aerospace sector in recent years to lead space programs," added the minister, present at this summit.

As reported by ESA and the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Pablo Álvarez is an aeronautical engineer from the University of León and has a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the Warsaw Polytechnic University.

He worked as a structural engineer for various Airbus aircraft programmes, both in Spain, France and the United Kingdom, and as a mechanical architect for the ExoMars Rover program of the European Space Agency, stationed at Airbus Defense and Space in the United Kingdom.

In recent years, he worked as head of Airbus projects in Spain, supporting projects in the company's production plants.

For her part, Sara González will form part of the reserve astronaut team, made up of the candidates who have passed the entire selection process, but have not been incorporated into the titular body.

González studied the degree and master's degree in Biotechnology at the University of León.

Subsequently, she completed her doctoral thesis at the Salamanca Cancer Research Center and is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at the National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), the largest cancer research organization in Spain, under the Ministry of Science and Innovation. .

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