Seventeen finalists compete to be Canada's next two astronauts
Innovation Minister announces the shortlist of candidates
April 24, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario
Seventeen candidates will go through the final rounds of assessments in the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. By the summer, the CSA will select two qualified astronauts among this pool of finalists.
Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the finalists for the recruitment campaign. They are:
- Matthew Bamsey
- Alex DeLorey
- Francis James Frenzel
- Vanessa Fulford
- Michael Anthony Jordan
- Erik Kroeker
- Joshua Kutryk
- Charles-Philippe Lajoie
- Jason Leuschen
- Robert Riddell
- Jennifer Anne MacKinnon Sidey
- Adam Sirek
- Nathalie Sleno
- Evan Alexander Beirne Thomas
- Andréane Vidal
- Michelle Whitty
- Jesse Zroback
In the coming months, these candidates will move into the final phase of the recruitment process.
The campaign comes as Canada prepares to participate with space agencies from around the world in future deep-space missions.
The work of an astronaut is highly demanding and requires a broad set of skills. The CSA, with partners from the Department of National Defense, designed a series of assessments to evaluate each of the candidate’s critical, analytical and creative thinking skills. Each candidate is also assessed for their fitness level, resilience, and ability to work in extreme conditions as part of a team.
"Space has the power to inspire. And I can think of no better sources of inspiration for young Canadians than the enormously gifted men and women who make up the cohort of astronaut candidates that our country has to draw from. Every one of them is a high achiever in their own right. The 17 finalists in this competition come from all walks of life. They are doctors, engineers, pilots and scientists. They have the power to fire up the imaginations of our young people and influence the next generation of space scientists and innovators."
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Canada’s fourth astronaut recruitment campaign was launched in June 2016. The search for the next generation of space explorers attracted more than 3,772 applicants from a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics backgrounds.
Budget 2016 committed $379 million to extend until 2024 Canada’s participation in the International Space Station. The purpose of this mission is to conduct research that positions the Canadian space sector for emerging scientific and innovation opportunities.
The evaluation tools used to assess the astronaut candidates were developed by CSA in collaboration with former and current astronauts as well as the Department of National Defence.
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