Have you got what it takes to be an astronaut? Applications welcome...

The hunt is on to find the next generation of astronauts - and for the first time in over a decade, the UK could find a new man or woman to send into space.

The European Space Agency is searching for four to six candidates ready to train for space travel, with applications opening on 31 March 2021.

Dr Jackie Bell has dreamt of going into space.

Among those hoping to make the cut is Dr Jackie Bell, a mathematician and physicist from North Liverpool.

The 32 year old has been preparing for this moment almost all her life:

Opportunities to go to space are rare - the ESA has only recruited four times since 1978.

Their last search launched the space career of astronaut Tim Peak, who travelled to the International Space Station in 2015.

Tim Peake was the first British recruit through the ESA astronaut programme in 2009. Credit: ESA

Tim Peake's career highlights:

Dr Bell has been building up all the technical, language and physical skills she might need.

The competition is likely to be fierce, with thousands expected to apply.

Hopefuls like Jackie will have to prove they have the right skills to join the ESA's astronaut corps and complete the extensive training.

As well as getting her pilot's license, Dr Bell has learnt Russian, and practised working under pressure:

Dr Bell was the first person in her family to go to university - but had early inspiration by watching Red Dwarf with her dad and seeing Liverpudlian actor Craig Charles play the part of Dave Lister.

She recalls "a Scouser on TV in space - that was a big moment you know, at the age of eight I thought that it could be very much real."

Successful candidates will eventually be deployed to the International Space Station. Credit: ESA

Since then, Jackie has developed a passion for communicating science, and earned a PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics.

Now, she wants to be the first scouser in space for real.

"You can only hope. And if not, I just want to encourage more people from Liverpool to apply as well - to try and get a Scouser in space would be the ultimate dream I think."

Could this be your new view? Credit: ISS

It's an 18 month process before the next generation of astronauts are chosen.

You can find out more here.