Spain’s Pablo Alvarez, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) newly elected career astronaut, has promised that astronauts of his generation will begin missions on the International Space Station from 2026, with one mission a year until 2030. , which lasts until April, they have two years of specific training before flying. However, all this depends on many factors, including the continuation of the ISS and Artemis project.
Once upon a time Interview given to a small group of journalists at ESA open daysHeld in Madrid last Saturday, Álvarez commented on the comprehensive training they will undergo during this first year of training, which covers a variety of fields from astronomy and engineering to medicine and survival.
The astronaut emphasized the importance of cooperation among his crew and noted that everyone was excited about the prospect of going into space. Friendship and cooperation will prevail over competition.
Regarding preparation for contingencies in space, the astronaut noted the need to respect the hostile environment of space and highlighted that re-entry to Earth is one of the most challenging parts of a space mission. Noting that they are trained to face unexpected situations, he stressed the importance of psychological preparation.
truly, Training includes survival tests in extreme conditions, in water and cold mountains, getting to know the ISS Columbus Observatory and mastering several languages. Astronauts-in-training will travel to different locations to face various situations and challenges, such as experiencing the extreme force of a centrifuge, which tests their physical endurance and ability to withstand extreme environments.
On investing in space exploration, The astronaut emphasized the importance of proper investment and highlighted that every euro invested in the European Space Agency not only returns to Spanish industry, but is multiplied three to five times, depending on the investment. He stressed that it is a profitable investment that will benefit the entire society. In addition, he mentioned ESA’s georeturn policy, which ensures that all of the agency’s investments return to the country of origin. This policy promotes industrial and scientific development.
The astronaut also commented on the revolution in space exploration, highlighting the growing participation of private actors in the US. He emphasized the importance of Space agencies lead with examples of sustainability and cooperationEspecially issues related to space debris and rocket reusability.
When asked if Europe can compete with space giants like India and China, The astronaut asserted that we are at the beginning of a space revolution that will require substantial investment. He stressed the importance of informing citizens that space is essential for future, security, employment and development.
As for the Spanish space agency, they confirmed that they are in touch, although the cooperation is at an early stage. He is focused on his basic training, but hopes to contribute to scientific experiments on future expeditions.
Finally, when giving advice to young people interested in science and space exploration, the astronaut emphasized that it is important to follow your dreams, persevere and put in the effort. He encouraged the youth not to give up and to remember that if they are committed, their dreams will come true.