This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

Science & Tech

Canada to hire two new astronauts

Do you have what it takes to go to space?

  • Jun 17, 2016
  • 301 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image

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.


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques in spacewalk training at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas.

Science & Tech

How to train your astronaut

From enduring extreme isolation and psychological strain to operating high-tech robotics and undergoing an intense physical fitness regimen, here’s a glimpse at what it takes to head to space

  • 1370 words
  • 6 minutes


Excerpt from Canadarm and Collaboration: How Canada’s Astronauts and Space Robots Explore New Worlds

With interviews from Chris Hadfield, Marc Garneau, Roberta Bondar, and more, Canadarm and Collaboration is the tale of Canada’s involvement in international space exploration from the 1960s to the present day

  • 1488 words
  • 6 minutes
Joshua Kutryk Jenni Sidey Canadian Space Agency astronauts

Science & Tech

Meet Canada’s newest astronauts

Jenni Sidey and Joshua Kutryk, both from Alberta, were announced as Canada's 13th and 14th astronauts on Canada Day

  • 403 words
  • 2 minutes

People & Culture

Astronauts attending the RCGS Fellows Dinner

This year’s roster of Gold Medal recipients at The Royal…

  • 923 words
  • 4 minutes