Russia launches recruitment drive for Moon mission
Space agency is looking for six to eight astronauts for 2031 voyage
Russia has announced a new recruitment drive for astronauts in the hope they will be the first Russians to land on the Moon.
The country's space agency Roscosmos is looking for six to eight astronauts who will operate a new-generation spaceship now in development. They "will become the first Russians to fly to the Moon," reports The Guardian.
Russia is keen to rekindle the space triumphs of the Soviet era after a series of embarrassing glitches in recent years, says France24.
It has set 2031 as the target date for its first manned Moon landing.
There are several stages of selection. The successful candidates will have to demonstrate good English and computer knowledge, and have the ability to learn all about spacecrafts and how they operate.
"A high standard of fitness is a must and would-be astronauts have to cross-country ski for 5km," says The Guardian.
Candidates will also have to fit very specific physical standards, says the Calvert Journal. "They have to be 150 to 190 cm tall, weigh between 50 and 90 kilos, and wear shoe size UK 11 or smaller."
After the December deadline, Roscosmos will begin the selection process. Once the six to eight astronauts are selected, the group will attend the Yuri A. Gagarin State Scientific Research-and-Testing Cosmonaut Training Center in the outskirts of Moscow to prepare.
This is the 17th recruitment call for Russian astronauts. The last one took place in 2012, says Newsweek.
Of the 30 members of Russia's current astronaut team, 14 have never gone into outer space.