In 11 years, European space chiefs have initiated their first recruiting campaign for new explorers, with a special focus on empowering women and people with disabilities to join the Moon and potentially Mars missions.
On Tuesday, the European Space Agency (ESA) said it was aiming to expand the diversity of its crews by evaluating up to 26 permanent and backup astronauts.
But the ESA warned that during the eight-week recruitment push from 31 March, it expected a "very high number" of applications to come in, and said applicants would have to face a difficult screening process lasting until October 2022.
"In a media conference, Lucy van der Tas, ESA head of talent acquisition, said, "Candidates need to be emotionally trained for this process.
According to Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, modifying technologies to allow humans to be in space might open up the potential for people with disabilities.
A master's degree in natural sciences, chemistry, mathematics, or computer science and three years of post-graduate experience is the criteria for an astronaut position at ESA.
"I think it's a beautiful chance... It'll be a chance to learn a lot about yourself,' said Cristoforetti.
As human space travel looked poised for a revival, it arrives.
After years in which Baikonur in the steppes of Kazakhstan was the only launch site for crewed flights to space, collaboration with private companies such as SpaceX has boosted hopes for further human missions.