• An ad for the Canadian Space Agency's latest astronaut recruitment campaign, which launched June 17. The CSA will hire two new astronauts by 2017. (Photo: Canadian Space Agency)

Canada will hire two new astronauts in 2017, the Canadian Space Agency announced June 17.

The application process is open to all Canadians who meet the requirements. Applications will be accepted until August 15, after which successful candidates will be put through a series of gruelling physical and mental tests to determine if they have what it takes to go to space.

This will be Canada's fourth astronaut recruitment campaign; the last campaign, which began in 2008, resulted in the hiring of Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques. Saint-Jacques heads to the International Space Station for his first space mission in 2018.

Speaking at the CSA's headquarters near Montreal, Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said the decision to hire new astronauts continues Canada's legacy as a leader in space exploration and innovation.

"The spirit of discovery comes naturally to Canadians. [Our] history has been shaped by explorers," he said. "This will show the world Canada fully intends to remain an active participant in space exploration."

Both Hansen and Saint-Jacques participated in the announcement and shared their own recruitment experiences.

Saint-Jacques said the screening examinations deliberately push applicants to their physical and mental limits to determine if the successful candidate will be able to adapt to the demands of spaceflight.

"Every test is an ultimate challenge of what you can give," he said, adding an astronaut's personality is just as important as their scientific knowledge and physical prowess.

"[They want to see] what’s left when you’ve had enough. Can you still make good, strategic decisions? Are you still a good team player?"

Full details on the application process can be found at the CSA's website.