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Author Topic:   ESA 2022 astronaut class 'Hoppers' patch
Jacques van Oene

Posts: 893
From: Houten, The Netherlands
Registered: Oct 2001

posted 04-22-2024 09:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jacques van Oene     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
European Space Agency (ESA) release
The Hoppers

ESA's new class of astronauts is ready to hop on their next adventure, and their class name says it all: the Hoppers.

On 22 April, the new ESA astronauts Sophie Adenot, Pablo Álvarez Fernández, Rosemary Coogan, Raphaël Liégeois, Marco Sieber and Australian Space Agency astronaut Katherine Bennell-Pegg graduated from their one-year basic astronaut training at ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany.

After completing an intense year of training, they have now received their certification, marking their official transition into fully-fledged astronauts eligible for spaceflight.

In keeping with tradition, the previous ESA astronaut class picked the name from a list of suggestions given by the new class.

The name 'Hoppers' refers to the ambition of the new astronauts to hop in low gravity, beginning with missions to the International Space Station and eventually venturing to explore the Moon.

The visual, created by ESA graphic designer Karen Lochtenberg, is in the shape of a space hopper, the bouncy balloon toy familiar to many from their childhood, often connected with the image of a playful alien.

The six ESA astronauts together with the Australian Space Agency astronaut are represented bouncing on their own space hopper in the colour of their respective national flag. During training, it's said that the newcomers often improvised their own set of rules. Similarly, they now bounce through the patch with energy, crossing its borders freely. Among them, the Australian space hopper follows her own path, flipping upside down.

The 12 white stars on the patch represent the 12 members of the astronaut reserve who are also part of the ESA astronaut class of 2022, standing ready to hop into basic training when a future flight opportunity arises.

The backdrop features the seven windows of the European-built Cupola of the International Space Station, offering a glimpse of the next destination for our new astronauts. Moreover, it establishes a connection between the new class and their predecessors, the Shenanigans from the ESA class of 2009, whose class patch also features the iconic Cupola in the background.

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