Canadian Space Agency to Recruit New Astronauts

CSA PRESS RELEASE

Longueuil, Quebec, March 31, 2008 – The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry Canada and the Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), announced at the Agency headquarters today that the CSA will begin a national astronaut recruitment campaign at the end of May 2008, to select astronauts to join its Canadian Astronaut Corps.

“Canadians are inspired when they see our astronauts in space, and they will be proud to learn that even more Canadian astronauts are about to be recruited,” said Minister Prentice. “I am pleased to join the Canadian Space Agency to announce this new national astronaut recruitment campaign. By May 2009, two astronaut candidates will be selected and will begin their training to represent Canada in future space exploration missions.”

Those selected by the Canadian Space Agency will take part in long-duration spaceflights on the International Space Station. Among their tasks, astronauts will help assemble and maintain the Station and conduct scientific and industrial research enhancing our quality of life on Earth.

“Canada’s astronaut corps has been very successful. Our astronauts have flown in space 13 times in the last 24 years and two more flights have just been announced. This is an exciting career and we hope that many Canadians apply,” said Guy Bujold, President of the Canadian Space Agency. “To continue successfully carrying out human spaceflight, we need to maintain a talented and capable Canadian Astronaut Corps.”

The application process will open at the end of May 2008. To apply, candidates will complete an application form on the Canadian Space Agency Website. Detailed requirements will be posted on the Website when the application process begins.

After the period of evaluation and interviews, the Canadian Space Agency hopes to be in a position to announce final selections in May 2009. Two astronaut candidates will be selected. A pool of qualified candidates will also be created for service in the future. Astronaut candidates will report to Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Longueil, Quebec for a first round of training and then to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to begin the basic training program that will prepare them for future spaceflight assignments.