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WUT graduate has become an astronaut

Photo of Pablo Álvarez Fernández

Pablo Álvarez Fernández is one of the six astronauts selected by ESA as Career Astronauts, photo by ESA

From the Warsaw University of Technology to space? It’s possible! Pablo Álvarez Fernández, who graduated from our university, is one of the astronauts selected by the European Space Agency.

Recruitment for new astronauts was conducted since February 2021, when ESA opened admissions for the first time since 2008. Over 22 thousand people took part in the competition. After many recruitment stages, 17 future astronauts were selected.

This group includes Pablo Álvarez Fernández, who in 2011 graduated from a Master’s programme at the Warsaw University of Technology Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering.

Pablo was born in 1988 in Spain. He graduated from Universidad de León. After his studies, he came to Poland to pursue further education at WUT. In 2011 he defended his Master’s diploma at our university. He gained his professional experience at Airbus. He participated in many aviation and space programmes in Spain, Great Britain and France. He developed, among other things, ExoMars rovers. Now he is one of the new European astronauts, and, more importantly, one of six Career Astronauts. Their participation in flights to the International Space Station is basically guaranteed; maybe even in one of the NASA moon missions completed with ESA. Reserve astronauts (there are 11 of them) may at any moment join this group and start training if manned flights are extended.

After ESA announced the competition results, Pablo Álvarez Fernández said that he had dreamed of becoming an astronaut since childhood.

– When the opportunity came up, I thought I had just one chance and I was going to do everything to use it – he said. – My first reaction after getting the news I had been selected was very emotional. I couldn’t help crying. I am over the moon. It is a great honour to be part of this team.

What would he tell young people who are passionate about space and science?

– Follow your dreams and never think that something is impossible. I am living proof that dreams come true.


Among 17 people selected by the European Space Agency, there are people from 17 countries, including a Pole – Sławosz Uznański. A full list can be found on the ESA website.