Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey. Image credit: CSA
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Ottawa, Jul 4 (Canadian-Media): Canada's astronauts from Alberta, Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey who were named by Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, in Ottawa July 1 during the Canada 150 celebrations, would be officially welcomed at the Canadian Space Agency’s headquarters in Quebec Tuesday, media reports said.
Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey were present on Parliament Hill Ottawa July 1 during the Canada 150 celebrations.
“Our new astronauts will represent Canada, advance our understanding of our planets and our universe, and inspire the next generation of Canadians to reach for the stars,” Trudeau said.
The selection of Sidey and Kutryk was made out of 3,772 applicants who met the minimum criteria set out by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
“It’s been a very long, tiring year. The testing has been difficult. The waiting has been difficult. It just feels wonderful to come out the other end,” Kutryk said, quoted CTVNews.
Later this month Sidey and Kutryk will be reporting for training at Johnson Space Centre in Houston for two-year training program to receive nstructions on systems on the International Space Station, spacewalks and Russian language training.
“We have so much to learn,” Kutryk said. “But for Jenni and I, the opportunity to learn that, to study at NASA, is a dream come true and it’s something that we’re really looking forward to. That’s the next step and we can’t wait,” CTVNews reports said.
Sidey, from Calgary, a lecturer with the University of Cambridge and worked as a mechanical engineer, said she had been dreaming of becoming an astronaut since 1992, when Roberta Bondar went into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery.
“I remember I was so young but that meant a lot to me, to have someone who was that relatable do something so big in Canada. That was huge,” Sidey told CTV’s Lisa LaFlamme in Ottawa after the prime minister’s introduction.
Kutryk, from Fort Saskatchewan's, an air force pilot having a bachelor,s degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in defence studies, had been fascinated since his childhood with space and aspired in helping to explore the space, a biography posted on the space agency's website said.
He said he was in the Edmonton Space Science Centre when the Canadarm 1, a series of robotic arms used on the space shuttle, was being used in space.
“The Canadian invention, the Canadian system, being used by Canadian astronauts of the likes of Marc Garneau and Bondar and Chris Hadfield shortly thereafter, that was a defining moment for me seeing that work in space, realizing that there were Canadians in space. I did know right then that was I wanted to work towards,” Kutryk said.
Sidey said her experience to endure while playing rugby had helped her in training and tests.
“Rugby played a big role,” she said. “When I was going through the selection process and I knew that I was going to be motivated by the people that were around me, that’s where the team element definitely came in to play I think,” CTVNews reports said.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)