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To Be a Cosmonaut

Russian cosmonaut candidates show what it takes to shoot for the stars

Kids all over the world say they want to become cosmonauts when they grow up. For most, dreams of space-bound heroics are sacrificed to reality or just forgotten along the path to adulthood. There are some though who refuse to let it go so easily. Like cosmonaut hopefuls, Irina, Konstantin and Andrey, who shoot for the stars in the latest recruitment campaign run by Russia’s state space agency, Roscosmos.

Russian cosmonaut candidates
Andrey,Konstantin and Irina – are all aiming to become cosmonauts in the Russian space agency’s open contest.

The aspiring space explorers come from diverse backgrounds: Irina is a medical doctor specialising in sport, an athlete and an avid traveller. Konstantin works as a business consultant but studied aviation to qualify. Andrey, the aeronautic engineer, is a family man, who devotes almost all of his spare time to physical training and studying maths.

Roscosmos candidates undergo stages of medical checks
Applicants must undergo a thorough medical examination before proceeding to the next selection stages.

They are among 420 applicants who will undergo a rigorous selection process. The perfect candidates have to tick all the boxes, including academic qualifications, be in tip-top physical shape, mental health and have a reasonable command of English. There are even specific criteria regarding height, weight and other measurements. In the end, only eight will be chosen to train in Star City to work on the International Space Station and perhaps future missions aboard the new-generation Federatsia spaceship… to the Moon.

Soyuz rocket launch
It's said that Russia’s new cosmonauts will embark on a whole new mission, not just an “ordinary” tour of duty aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Up to six Russian cosmonauts may take the Federatsia spacecraft to the moon. / Roscosmos

This is a unique film following the selection process from the beginning in 2017. As the three candidates train and prepare for rounds of demanding medical tests and intense interviews, they show what it takes to become a cosmonaut and how to turn a dream into a plan!