Carl plans his mission to space

AN ENGINEER who has been planning space missions for the past four years is applying to become an astronaut in the hope of going on his own mission. Carl Warren, 30, who is a mission systems engineer with Astrium in Stevenage, is applying to become a Euro

AN ENGINEER who has been planning space missions for the past four years is applying to become an astronaut in the hope of going on his own mission.

Carl Warren, 30, who is a mission systems engineer with Astrium in Stevenage, is applying to become a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut.

The ESA is seeking new talent to boost its Astronaut Corps for future manned missions to the International Space Station (ISS), the moon and beyond.

And the budding astronaut who has a degree in aeronautics and astronautics said he thought he would "give it a go" because of his growing interest in the universe.


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He said: "As a child I was always fascinated by space and the planets. The idea of exploring new places and finding out about the universe and understanding our place in the universe has always interested me.

"I'm sure the experience would be fantastic. Ultimately we need to go into space because something could happen to Earth and we have the technology to go into space should something happen to our planet.

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"It's an exciting prospect but I think the most daunting thing would be the launch because you're ultimately strapping yourself to the top of a firework."

The application process is expected to take up to 10 months and will involve psychological and professional aptitude, including behavioural and cognitive skill tests as well as a medical examination and formal interview.

The selected candidates will then join the EAC and begin basic training at the European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany in 2009.

Carl, of Meadow Way in Stotfold, who is currently working on a mission called Lisa Pathfinder, an ESA mission that will look at the fabric of space, added: "In terms of what they are looking for, I think I'm the sort of person they will want because of my background and familiarity with the space industry."

Michel Tognini, former astronaut and head of the European Astronaut Centre, said: "We want to find high-calibre men and women in Europe to prepare to meet the challenges of ISS exploitation and human exploration of our solar system in the 21st century.

"As of this month, ESA will be searching in each of its 17 member states for the best candidates to make the vision a reality."

l To apply or for more information visit www.esa.int/esaHS/astronauts.html

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