Four applicants shortlisted for the Hungarian astronaut programme dubbed Hungarian to Orbit (HUNOR) were presented on Tuesday, and they will start a two-year training programme, the foreign ministry said.
The four-member team includes a doctor and three engineers, and one of them will spend nearly one month on the international space station, the statement said. The shortlisted applicants were presented at a press conference where ministry commissioner for space science Orsolya Ferencz declared that Hungary was “returning to space”. She added that the 1980 space travel of cosmonaut Bertalan Farkas, who was a guest at the press conference, acted as a catalyst for Hungarian science.
“The aim of the current astronaut programme is to set Hungarian science and the high-tech industry on a long-lasting upward track,” she said. Gabor Magyari, who is in charge of astronaut recruitment and training in HUNOR, told the event that 240 valid applications had been assessed in line with the requirements of the European Space Agency, NASA, the International Space Station and the programme’s private company partner, Axiom Space.
The shortlisted applicants include 33-year-old electrical engineer Gyula Cserényi, 31-year-old space development engineer Tibor Kapu, clinical orthopaedic surgeon Ádám Schlegl and 40-year-old aviation design engineer András Szakály.