Hundreds of Albertans apply for shot to become one of Canada’s two new astronauts
The Canadian Space Agency has an out-of-this-world opportunity — literally.
The agency has begun recruiting for two new Canadian astronauts to add to its ranks, something that has only happened three other times in its history.
The application process opened in June and as of July 6, when the latest statistics were released, 396 Canadans had put their names forward for a chance to live among the stars and study what the vast universe has to offer.
About 3,000 other Canadians are also hoping to land a coveted spot within the agency.
After the online application closes Aug. 15, it will take CSA about 12 months to put the candidates through the wringer and select the two newest additions to the team.
Karl Saad, project manager for the CSA, said it’s a fairly rigorous process that includes several medical examinations and physical testing.
“We will have the candidates come to us and undergo certain tests, (there are) certain situations we’ll put them in just to really see who they are, what they’re made of and to also give them the opportunity to have a taste of what it is to become an astronaut, that’s also very important,” said Saad.
“We want the two candidates that we’re going to pick to have a good understanding of what they’re getting into.”
From the moment the successful candidates are chosen they will begin their instruction, starting with basic astronaut training, which takes about two years.
Once selected to go on a flight they will then do mission-specific training, learning the details of the flight and familiarizing themselves with the types of research and experiments they will be conducting in space.
Historically, and as the recent July statistics show, about 70 per cent of the applicants are men.
Prior to launching this recruitment campaign, the CSA looked into where women are in terms of studying in the fields of science, technology, mathematics and medicine.
Saad said it found that 30 per cent of the population studying within those fields are women, which means the CSA is attracting a high number of the qualified women, roughly 23 per cent, but the numbers are still lower than what it would prefer.
“Obviously we’re very interested in seeing more women apply, and one of the things we’ve been doing is we have been targeting professional organizations that cater to women in science to promote the campaign,” said Saad.
Another way the CSA is hoping to attract more women into the space program is by adding a bachelor’s degree in nursing as an acceptable educational component.
However, as important as it is to have that educational component, Saad said the agency is looking for more from its future astronauts.
“What’s important is just not someone who has studied a lot and has the right credentials in terms of study, but is a well-rounded person,” said Saad.
What that means, he further explained, is someone who is obviously curious, has a desire to learn, likes exploring and adventure, can work well in a team or in an isolated environment for extended periods of time, and someone who can communicate their enthusiasm for their chosen career, for science and for what science is doing for humanity.
The application process is open to everyone that meets the criteria, which is available on the Canadian Space Agency website.
“If someone has had the dream to do this and that dream is still alive in them, they obviously should apply, they shouldn’t second-guess themselves,” he said.
“I think until you get into the process it may not be clear to you as a person if you do have all the attributes that we require, so a person could be surprised at the end that they do have everything, and make it to the end of their dream.
“Once they are selected, they will be going up — it’s just a matter at this point of saying when.”
CSA expects to announce the two successful recruits in June 2017.
Do you live in southern Canada and have applied to become Canada’s newest astronaut? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to hear from you.
alberta conservatives, Alberta news, alberta socialists, Canadian news, conservatives, global warming fraud, Hundreds of Albertans apply for shot to become one of Canada's two new astronauts, natural gas, oil, pipelines, right for alberta, taxes, western Canada
Categorised in: Uncategorized