top of page


  • What is the background to the Astronaut for a day campaign?
    The Astronaut for a day – Luxembourg initiative is sponsored by the Luxembourg Space Agency. It is open to all young people aged 13 or more in secondary education who have an interest in space and are studying in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. One of the Luxembourg Space Agency's educational tasks is to interest and educate young people in science subjects (engineering, research and others). This is done by initiatives like this one and projects in cooperation with its partners: the European Space Education Research Office (ESERO), Luxembourg Tech School and others. Thanks to events like these, they can explore the opportunities associated with space. A chance to fire the imagination of the talents of tomorrow! Important note: this initiative is not limited to students on science and technology courses. Space is for everyone!
  • When will the Astronaut for a day parabolic flight take place?
    The parabolic flight will take place on 28 September 2023. First, there will be team-building activities arranged by the organiser for the 25 successful applicants.
  • Who can apply to be an Astronaut for a day?
    All secondary school students (classical, general or technical) enrolled in a public or private educational institution in Luxembourg, or who can prove that they are in secondary education at home. To apply, you must be at least 13 years old on the date of the flight and must be in secondary education in the academic years 2022-23 and 2023-24. Here are some examples which may help: I’m 19 one month before the flight and in my penultimate year of secondary education during the current academic year 2022-23. Can I apply? Yes, you can. You meet all the criteria. I’m going to be 13 the day after the parabolic flight. Can I apply? Sorry, but no. Everyone selected to go on the parabolic flight must be at least 13 on the day of the flight. But if your birthday is on the same day as the flight, you can apply.
  • I’m disabled. Can I be an Astronaut for a day?
    One place on the flight is open to disabled candidates. You must not have any medical conditions which would be contraindicating to parabolic flight. If you are interested, you are welcome to contact us so that we can arrange a preliminary interview between your doctor and our parabolic flight medical commission, to assess the feasibility of your participation. In case of a favorable medical opinion, applicants will follow an adapted selection process.
  • Is participation in Astronaut for a day free of charge?
    Yes. It is free to apply and to participate in the various stages of this process.
  • What are the stages of selection for Astronaut for a day?
    The selection process for Astronaut for a day – Luxembourg is inspired of the selection processes for astronauts, run by space agencies worldwide. It will consist of 6 separate stages as follows: Stage 1: Application and cover letter Stage 2: Reasoning and comprehension tests Stage 3: Physical fitness Stage 4: Interview Stage 5: Medical check-up Stage 6: Parabolic flight After assessment of the applications submitted at Stage 1, 250 candidates will be selected for the reasoning and comprehension tests: this is the second stage of the competition, which takes the form of an online test. This means you can take the test at home or at school. No need to travel. 125 applicants will proceed to the physical fitness stage, with physical and motor function tests in person. Next comes the stage which tests your communication skills at interview. Up to 60 applicants will be short-listed for this stage. Interviewing will take place online, via a platform to be notified later, and you will be assessed by a panel. The 25 applicants who achieve the best assessments will be selected for the parabolic flight, subject to a favorable medical check-up. The Luxembourg Space Agency will announce the successful applicants.
  • How should I submit my application?
    Application via the website is mandatory. You will find the application form there, which also requires you to submit a mini-CV and a parental consent form. At a later stage, you will be sent a link to record a video about why you would like to go on the flight. PLEASE NOTE: Both stages are necessary to validate your participation in Astronaut for a day – Luxembourg. If you submit a completed application form but do not record the video, your application will be discarded as incomplete.
  • What do I have to write in the required mini-CV?
    The CV is a good way for us to get to know you and find out more about you. If you have no working experience, please describe your detailed pathway through school. Let us know your existing strengths and skills which you think you would need to become a one-day astronaut. Tell us about your hobbies or any activity you really enjoy, for example. Tip: we encourage you to show originality and creativity in writing your CV, in both form and content. One page of A4 will be plenty.
  • Why should I record a video and what should I record?
    The video is to tell us why you want to be an astronaut for a day. You will have 60 seconds to explain why we should pick you and persuade us to let you through to the next stage. The video can be in the language of your choice: either English, French or Luxembourgish. Tip: be clear, precise and, above all: wow us!
  • What should I do to receive the video recording link, once I have completed and submitted my application form?
    Don't panic! You will probably not receive the video recording link immediately after submitting your entry form. Our team will first screen applicants against the eligibility criteria: age and being in education. Video links will be sent within 24 hours of the end of this stage except during weekends. Here are some specific examples to help explain the process: I completed the form in the late afternoon, during the evening or at night: when will I receive my video link? Your invitation to record a video will arrive the day after, in daytime. I submitted my application at 7 o’clock this morning or at midday. When will I receive my video link? You may receive your link by the same time tomorrow. I submitted my application on a Friday night or Saturday, when will I receive my video link? Your link will be sent to you the following Monday. On receiving your link to record a video, you have seven days to record and submit it to validate your entry for the first stage of the competition. N.B: if no video is received by the set deadline, your entry will be treated as void and we cannot consider it further. If you meet the criteria and receive no link to record a video 48 hours after submitting your application and receiving an acknowledgement for it, please contact us via the contact form.
  • Are there any official documents to send during the selection procedure?
    Yes, there are. If you go through to the reasoning test stage, each of your legal representatives must sign a consent form and provide a digital copy of their respective identity documents so that you can follow the process. The organisers will send the form to the contact e-mail you gave in your application. If you have a single legal representative, you only have to return a single signed consent. If you have two legal representatives (e.g. both parents), each must sign a consent form and provide a copy of an ID. Only applicants who proceed to the second stage have to send the consent form. The consent must be sent no later than two days before the date of this stage. A school certificate may also be requested during the selection process.
  • What if one (or more) successful applicants cannot go on the parabolic flight?
    If this happens, the space agency will allocate their place(s) to one or more other applicants, in order of the best score attained at Stage 4, from 26th to 35th place. For this purpose, a list of 10 reserve astronauts will be published when the successful applicants for this edition are known.
  • I was not selected to continue the Astronaut for a day adventure. Why?
    It's a shame and we’re really sorry. The selection process is based on a scoring system linking the criteria of eligibility, reasons for applying, interest in space, performance in the reasoning and comprehension tests, performance in the physical tests and communication skills. Applicants are assessed at each stage in a spirit of respect, inclusion and impartiality towards aspiring astronauts for a day. By applying for Astronaut for a day, you accept the risk that your application may not be successful.
  • What is a parabolic flight, and what purpose does it serve?
    Before “man in space” ever became a reality, it was necessary to recreate the absence of gravity, without going into orbit, to find out whether the human body could survive and adjust to weightlessness. The answer came in the 1950s, from parabolic flights. Parabolic flights on board aircraft such as the Airbus 310 Zero G are one of the best ways (practically the only way) to simulate an environment of microgravity with crew members on board.
  • How does a parabolic flight work?
    During a parabolic flight, the pilots repeatedly perform a special “parabolic” manoeuvre which recreates a state of weightlessness on board for 22 seconds. The parabolic flight is divided into three stages: first the aircraft accelerates to a speed of 810 kilometres per hour. The pilot lifts the nose of the Airbus A310 Zero G upward to an angle of 50 degrees from horizontal. The weight felt inside the aircraft increases to 1.8 times gravity on Earth. Known as hypergravity, this stage lasts about 20 seconds. Next comes the parabola: with the Zero G travelling upward, the crew throttle back the engines so that the aircraft follows a ballistic trajectory. The aircraft enters zero gravity and performs a parabola in which it is in free fall for 22 seconds. With the nose of the aircraft tilted downward 42 degrees, the crew pull out of the parabolic arc while increasing the engine speed. For the second time, the passengers weigh 1.8 times their terrestrial weight. Twenty seconds later, the aircraft returns to a horizontal trajectory.
  • Is weightless flying safe?
    The Airbus A310 Zero G performs the parabolic manoeuvres, for which it was designed, in complete safety. This aircraft is equipped specifically for parabolic flights and flown by highly experienced test pilots. It is maintained according to a servicing programme specifically devised for aircraft of this type. Crew members on the flights help passengers to control their movements and avoid colliding with each other. The instructors and safety staff on the flight warn passengers before gravity returns them back down to the aircraft floor and are there to help if necessary. Generally it is a gentle transition.
  • Who generally can go on this type of flight?
    Anyone aged 13 or over can go on an exploratory flight accompanied by the astronaut Jean-François Clervoy. Passengers need no parachutes or specific kit for parabolic flights. They just need to let their bodies float in the cabin of the A310 Zero G.
  • How does a Zero G flight progress?
    The engines start up. You sit and fasten your belt, as you would on board any aircraft. After take-off, the pilots steer the aircraft towards a specific zone in the air where they are going to fly the parabolas. At this point you go with the other members of your group and your instructor into the part of the cabin where you are going to float, weightless. The pilots will perform 15 parabolas at intervals in the course of one hour. You will experience 12 parabolas weightless, one under Martian gravity (0.38 g) and two under lunar gravity (0.16 g). Finally, back to planet Earth: you return to your seat for the descent and landing.
  • Who is at the aircraft controls?
    Unlike commercial flights, the Airbus A310 Zero G is piloted simultaneously by three crew members during each parabola. One pilot controls the pitching (nose-up and nose-down angle); a second controls the roll movement (to keep the wings horizontal); finally the third, sitting behind the other two, is responsible for controlling the engine speed and monitoring some of the other flight parameters: warnings, temperatures and pressure. Together, the three pilots maintain near-zero acceleration in the three axes to ensure weightlessness to a degree of precision of around 0.02 g.
  • Is there any reason why I should not go on a parabolic flight?
    Some illnesses or medical conditions are incompatible with parabolic flying. Take a look at Annexe III of the One-Day Astronaut – Luxembourg rules for further details.
  • Might I feel ill during a parabolic flight?
    A sense of nausea is normal during your first weightless flight. It happens to one passenger in ten. The crew try to avoid this by keeping some travel sickness pills in their pockets. The following tips may also be useful: Have a normal breakfast before your flight. Relax. At the start of the flight, keep your head still during the acceleration phases. Wait to get accustomed to the flight before the aircraft begins its parabola. If you still feel unwell after these transitions, the sensation should normally be minimal and short-lived. Most people feel better after a few minutes’ rest.
  • Might I be frightened during the flight?
    Perhaps you have seen photographs of the Airbus Zero G nose-up in the sky or hurtling towards the ground, and find these images unnerving. Actually, while you are on board, you will not notice anything at those points, because the portholes are blocked in the area where you float weightless. Lying on foam mats, all you will feel is the pull of the aircraft's acceleration. Your body will be weighing almost twice its normal weight: a bit like someone lying on top of you for about 20 seconds! You won't slide about the cabin, either. You will just be pinned to the floor. When phases of weightlessness occur, exclamations of astonishment and joy break out all over the aircraft. Floating comes as such a big surprise. The parabolas always conclude with laughter and applause!
bottom of page