EL SEGUNDO, California, June 3 /PRNewswire/ --

Wyle's Germany-based GmbH unit played a vital role in the recent selection of six new European Space Authority (ESA) astronauts, the first named since 1992.

Casey Pruett, managing director of the unit, assisted in supervising all logistic components for organizing the implementation of two phases of psychological and one phase of medical testing. He served as the deputy project manager to Dr. Volker Damann, head of ESA's Crew Medical Support Office, and was responsible for the psychological and medical components of the ESA astronaut selection campaign.

The new astronauts are Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy, Alexander Gerst of Germany, Andreas Mogensen of Denmark, Luca Parmitano of Italy, Timothy Peake of the U.K. and Thomas Pesquet of France.

They were selected following a Europe-wide recruitment process that began in 2008. Following thorough psychological, medical and professional screening that started with 8,413 applicants, they are the first new recruits to join the European Astronaut Corps since 1992 under this second-ever astronaut selection carried out by ESA.

The screening was conducted at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany in conjunction with space psychologists, European Space Agency Astronaut and ESA Human Resources involvement. The medical phase was conducted jointly at the German Aerospace Center Institute for Aerospace Medicine in Cologne, Germany and Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology in Toulouse, France.

Wyle GmbH, founded in 2000 and located in Cologne, Germany, provides biomedical engineering, space medicine, flight nurse, psychology, nutrition, radiation, medical informatics and technology, fitness and rehabilitation for space flight, physiotherapy, medical education maintenance, project management and consulting support services to aerospace, government and medical research customers.

Wyle, a privately held company, is a leading provider of high tech aerospace engineering and information technology services to the federal government on long-term outsourcing contracts. The company also provides life sciences services for NASA's astronaut corps as well as mission critical support services and space simulation; test and evaluation of aircraft, weapon systems, networks, and other government assets; and other engineering services to the aerospace, defense, nuclear power, communications and transportation industries.

Contact: Dan Reeder +1-310-563-6834 Ref.: NR/09-16

Dan Reeder of Wyle, +1-310-563-6834