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article imagePrime Minister Trudeau introduces Canada's two new astronauts

By Karen Graham     Jul 3, 2017 in Science
An air force pilot and a lecturer at the University of Cambridge have been named Canada’s newest astronauts, joining David St. Jacques and Jeremy Hansen as future Canadian representatives in space!
The Canada Day celebration marking the country’s 150th birthday on Parliament Hill on Saturday was a fitting backdrop for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement that Jennifer Sidey of Calgary and Joshua Kutryk of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta had been chosen to be Canada's newest astronauts.
CTV News quoted Trudeau as saying, “Our new astronauts will represent Canada, advance our understanding of our planets and our universe, and inspire the next generation of Canadians to reach for the stars."
Astronaut candidate Sidey during the second series of aptitude tests.
Astronaut candidate Sidey during the second series of aptitude tests.
Canadian Space Agency
Last summer, the Canadian Space Agency's fourth campaign looking for two astronauts began. A total of 3,772 applications were received, and of those applicants, 1,706 passed a public service entrance exam. But that was just the start of what is a grueling process to select the best candidates.
Applicants also have to be in excellent health and have a university education in science, engineering or medicine. They needed to reside in Canada or be Canadian citizens residing abroad and be proficient in English or French (or preferably, both). After additional training, emergency simulations and robotics training, the candidate pool was finally down to 17 people, from which Sidey and Kutryk were chosen.
Sidey, 28, and Kutryk, 35, will join Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques as astronauts on active service with the CSA. In total, the Canadian Space Agency has recruited 14 astronauts through four campaigns, and now, 10 Canadian astronauts are retired. David Saint-Jacques is currently training to launch to the International Space Station in November 2018.
Astronaut candidate Kukryk during the second series of aptitude tests.
Astronaut candidate Kukryk during the second series of aptitude tests.
Canadian Space Agency, MCpl Chris Ringius, DND
Even though the two soon-to-be-astronauts have completed a year of non-stop testing and examinations, they will now be headed to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas on Aug. 21, where they will join NASA's recently announced 22nd astronaut class to begin two years of basic training.
Once they are qualified as astronauts, Sidey and Kutryk will support CSA's participation with NASA and other space agencies from around the world on future deep-space missions, as well as representing the space agency at home.
More about Canada, Canadian Space Agency, Astronauts, Canada 150, two selected
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