Czech pilot member of ESA astronaut reserves

Czech fighter pilot Aleš Svoboda is one of the European Space Agency's new team of astronauts, joining them as a member of the reserve team. Mr. Svoboda and the rest of the astronauts were selected from almost 22,600 people, approximately 200 of whom were Czech. He was the only one of his countrymen to be chosen. The ESA announced the results of its selection on Wednesday afternoon in Paris.

In the late 1970s, the former Czechoslovakia became only the third country in the world to have one of its citizens go to space. Military pilot Vladimír Remek was a crew member of the Soyuz 28 spacecraft in March 1978, the first astronaut from a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States. Remek was the first and only Czechoslovak astronaut to see space to date.

Author: Anna Fodor