A shortlist of eight candidates was selected out of more than 240 applicants, who were then tested at the Kecskemet airbase of the Hungarian Armed Forces, Szijjarto said on Facebook. It was on the basis of these tests that the expert body conducting the selection process narrowed down the list of candidates to four, the minister added.
The Hungarian astronaut’s mission will involve testing Hungarian space equipment on the ISS as well as conducting experiments for Hungarian research groups, Szijjarto said. The remaining four candidates will be subjected to further training and testing over the coming year, he added.
Projections show the space industry as being one of the fastest-developing sectors of the 21st century, Szijjarto said. Hungary aims to play a part in this with the astronaut programme it has established as part of its space strategy, the minister said.