Next round of Astronaut candidates chosen

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Ten CAF members are among the next group of 32 Canadians who are in the running to become Canada’s next astronaut. Despite their unique journeys, astronauts have a few things in common: an academic background in science or technology, excellent health, and outstanding qualities and skills.

After a year-long evaluation, the Canadian Space Agency has selected Dr. Jenni Sidey and Lieutenant-Colonel Joshua Kutryk from among 17 finalists and 3,772 applicants to be Canada’s newest astronauts.

2Lt Francis Frenzel

Current home: Petersburg, Ont.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

It is inherently human to want to explore and discover the unknown. As powerful as these experiences can be while bound to Earth, it is a profound and beautiful pursuit to push human capabilities into such an exotic and unforgiving environment as space. It truly is “the final frontier.”

 

Capt Vanessa Fulford

Current home: Cold Lake, Alta.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

My motivation for becoming a Canadian astronaut is threefold. I have always hungered for discovery, learning experiences, and the knowledge that comes with each new adventure. Second, I truly believe that it is through the exploration of space that we will generate the technologies needed to further the human race. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I want to be a role model for future generations.

 

Capt Michelle Whitty

Current home: Calgary, Alta.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

I was sitting around a campfire in the backcountry of Algonquin Park with friends when someone mentioned that the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) was taking applications for two astronaut positions. I almost couldn’t contain my excitement. I had been waiting for this moment for years, ever since my parents sent me to astronaut camp in 1994 at the Euro Space Centre in Belgium.

 

Capt Michael Anthony Jordan

Current home: Jupiter, Florida

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

My goal of becoming an astronaut has been with me since my earliest memories. I never questioned that goal, but knew I needed to do everything in my power to achieve it. Gaining knowledge about our place in this vast universe, I became increasingly compelled to venture past the boundaries of this “pale blue dot” we call home.

 

2Lt Jason Leuschen

Current home: Ottawa, Ont.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

I fell in love with the sky growing up on a farm in the “Land of The Living Skies” (Saskatchewan). Most days you were treated to an inspiring dawn, which would only be topped by the sunset that followed. Evenings in the field, without an artificial light in sight, I was held in rapture by the Milky Way, the northern lights and the moon. I’d drag my younger brother out to watch meteor showers and ponder our place in the universe. I have wanted to be an astronaut, to get a little closer to the heavens, ever since.

 

Capt Nathalie Sleno

Current home: Yellowknife, N.W.T.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

It would be the greatest achievement—and the ultimate experience—to participate in the forefront of science! To be so closely involved in the greatest frontier, as we continue to push limits and pursue knowledge, would be a dream come true. It serves humanity as a whole, without borders or division.

 

Capt Adam Sirek

Current home: Tecumseh, Ont.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

I have always loved both aviation and medicine. I learned to fly at age 16, and pursued science and medicine at school. Science and experiments performed in orbit have led to improvements for all of humanity, and this has been a driving factor in all of my aerospace medicine training.

 

Capt Andréane Vidal

Current home: Belleville, Ont.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

I’ve always been drawn to the sky, and the idea of going as high as possible has always fascinated me. I studied science and technology to fulfil my first passion, and then pursued a career as an air navigator in the CAF. Even though my job is extremely rewarding, both intellectually and physically, I feel the need to push my personal limits even further.

 

Maj Joshua Kutryk

Current home: Cold Lake, Alta.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

As a child, I was fascinated with space. I knew that my life would focus on helping explore it. As an adult, I realize human space exploration is important to us all as individuals and as Canadians. I have always wanted to leave the world a better place than I found it, and I believe that space is one area where I can do so.

 

Maj Robert Riddell

Current home: Ottawa, Ont.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

Unlike any job on Earth, being an astronaut would allow me to draw on the knowledge that I have gained from my formal education and the unique experiences I have had as a military officer and rural physician. I have thrived mentally and physically in some of the world’s most hostile environments, and it would be an honour to build on this as a Canadian astronaut.

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