Canadian Space Agency

Canadian Space Agency

May 13, 2009 13:27 ET

Canadian Space Agency-Focusing on the Future: Two New Canadian Astronauts

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 13, 2009) - Nearly 25 years after the first Canadian astronaut flew into space and only weeks before two Canadian space veterans launch to the International Space Station, the Honourable Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) President Steve MacLean revealed the names of Canada's newest astronauts.

"Canada is poised for the future, extending our proud history of achievements in human spaceflight, science and technology innovation and space exploration," said the Honourable Tony Clement. "These new astronauts will support Canada's contribution to the International Space Station and continue to inspire our young Canadians to pursue advanced studies in the sciences and reach for their dreams."

The new astronauts were chosen among 5351 applicants. Through the year-long recruitment process, candidates underwent evaluations ranging from robotics to physical fitness testing.

"I am inspired by the outstanding talent I have seen in the Canadians that applied to become astronauts. Canadians have risen to the top in so many areas of achievement and our recruitment campaign attracted the best and the brightest of our nation," said CSA President Steve MacLean. "The Canadian Space Agency's two new astronauts will embark on a career which, I can say from personal experience, will be full of adventure and personal fulfillment. And they will do important work on behalf of Canada and on behalf of humanity."

Jeremy Hansen and David St-Jacques are the first Canadians to join the astronaut corps since 1992.

They become the 11th and 12th Canadians to join the Canadian Astronaut Corps.

The new astronauts will undergo brief training at the CSA headquarters this summer. In August 2009, they will begin their astronaut training at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Until then, the new Canadian Space Agency astronauts will support the launch activities of their colleagues, Canadian astronauts, Robert Thirsk and Julie Payette. Bob Thirsk will take part in a long-duration mission on the International Space Station and is scheduled to launch on May 27 from Baikonur Kazakhstan. Julie Payette, will be a mission specialist on STS-127, which is scheduled to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 13.

For more information on the National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign, visit our website at: http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronauts/default.asp .

Biographical data of the astronauts is available on the CSA website at www.asc-csa.gc.ca .

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency coordinates all civil, space-related policies and programs on behalf of the Government of Canada. The Agency directs its resources and activities through four key thrusts: Earth Observation, Space Science and Exploration, Satellite Communications, and Space Awareness and Learning. By leveraging international cooperation, the CSA generates world-class scientific research and industrial development for the benefit of humanity.

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