Presentation of the professional astronaut staff of Hungary


The HUNOR – Hungarian Astronaut Program will begin its two-year training for Hungary’s newly established professional astronaut staff with one doctor and three engineers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade told MTI.

According to their statement, the identities of the four candidates were made public at the press conference of the research astronaut program on Tuesday. Gyula Cserényi, Tibor Kapu, Ádám Schlégl, and András Szakály make up the core, one of whom will participate in a nearly one-month scientific mission aboard the International Space Station, they wrote.

Orsolya Ferencz, the ministerial commissioner responsible for space research, emphasized in her opening speech: Hungary is returning to space. On the basis of how strong a catalyst the spaceflight of Bertalan Farkas – who was present as a guest at the press conference – in 1980 acted as a catalyst for Hungarian scientific life, the main objective of the current astronaut program is well-founded, to set Hungarian science and high-tech industry on a long-lasting upward trajectory – summarized the long-term aspirations of the program.

Miklós Maróth, president of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), said: the government has appointed the most important domestic space research and space technology workshop, the Space Research Laboratory of the ELKH Energy Science Research Center, to coordinate, implement and professionally manage this complex program. With the HUNOR Program, astronaut selection and training and experimentation on the International Space Station have also been added to the wide range of capabilities available at ELKH, the announcement reads.

Gábor Magyari, the professional manager responsible for astronaut selection and training of the HUNOR Program, announced that the 240 valid applications received were narrowed down to the four astronauts to be trained in accordance with the requirements of the European Space Agency, NASA, the International Space Station and the program’s private industry partner, Axiom Space. During the nearly one-year selection process, the contestants were tested for their mental performance, their body’s load capacity, their personality stability, their academic work level, and whether they are able to cooperate in a team as well as lead when needed, the specialist informed.

Among the four selected candidates are Gyula Cserényi, 33, a high-current electrical engineer; Tibor Kapu, 31, space industry development engineer; Ádám Schlégl a clinical orthopedic surgeon and András Szakály a 40-year-old aviation design engineer.

András Szakály optimistically highlighted the potential of the HUNOR Program, so that an increasing number of excellent Hungarian engineers who are starting technological and scientific developments will find professional challenges that match their abilities at home.

Ádám Schlégl expects that he will be able to do even more for human lives in the program than he has been able to do every day in the operating rooms due to the scientific advances related to telemedicine.

Gyula Cserényi approaches the dangers of the space station with the same confidence as the decision-making situations associated with his work in the past.

Tibor Kapu stated: they are determined to face the challenges of the next two years.

The goal of the HUNOR Hungarian Astronaut Program is to send a Hungarian research astronaut to the International Space Station, where he will carry out scientific experiments mainly developed by Hungarians for almost a month.


Opening photo: In the photo published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ádám Schlégl, Gyula Cserényi, Tibor Kapu and András Szakály (b-j) are candidate astronauts at the press conference of the HUNOR – Hungarian Astronaut Program on March 7, 2023. One of the four candidates will participate in a nearly one-month mission, mainly Hungarian-developed scientific experiments aboard the International Space Station. MTI/KKM

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