The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has revealed the final 72 candidates and provided profiles of those aiming to become one Canada’s next two astronauts. For the final 72 it’s an opportunity to chase a dream so few get a chance to. The prize at the end of the selection is years of training and at least one, if not more, opportunities to fly to the International Space Station and other possible destinations, including even to the moon.
The CSA won’t release the next cut-down dates but we do know that two candidates will be selected before August so they can begin training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center at that time.
The candidates are all well educated as you might expect, with 38 having Ph.D.’s, two who are Ph.D. candidates and one has two Ph.D. degrees. 15 are doctors and 14 candidates are serving or have served in the military, many of them pilots. The gender breakdown is 28% women and 72% men.
The two remaining candidates will start with a salary of $91,300 and be under contract initially for up to two years as they undergo training and evaluation. If they make it through the evaluation, they are then offered a five year renewable contract. Their salary rises with the amount of experience they obtain and once they fly a mission their salary is bumped up to $178,400 at the current level.
During the two years of training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and in Canada at CSA headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the candidates will undergo the following training. Once successsfully completed, candidates are officially given the title of astronaut.
- CSA orientation
- History of space flight
- Fundamentals of space flight
- Space operations and procedures
- International Space Station systems
- Life science
- Materials and fluid science
- Earth observation
- Space science
- Human behaviour and performance
- Flight training
- Parachute jumps
- Physical training
- First aid and CPR
- Language training (e.g. learning Russian)
- Operation of photographic equipment
- Media relations
- Survival training
- Obtaining the title of “astronaut”