Trudeau unveils Canada’s newest astronauts

Jen Sidey and Josh Kutryk will officially be welcomed at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters

Two Albertans were named Canada’s newest astronauts Saturday as the country marked its 150th birthday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the platform of waterlogged Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa to name Jennifer Sidey of Calgary and Joshua Kutryk of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.

Sidey is a lecturer with the University of Cambridge who has worked as a mechanical engineer, while Kutryk is an air force pilot who also holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in defence studies.

Sidey told the crowd she was inspired to become an astronaut in 1992 when Roberta Bondar went into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. She said she had the opportunity to attend a speech in Calgary by Canada’s first female astronaut.

“I remember looking up to her being excited at the idea of being a scientist, being a Canadian and having the opportunity to explore places beyond our world,” she said.

“I’m grateful to have had that role model and that memory makes this moment so powerful for me.”

Kutryk, who holds the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the air force, said he is honoured to be joining the Canadian Space Agency.

“Throughout the recruitment campaign, Jenny and I met some amazing Canadians, scientists, doctors, engineers, pilots like myself. There is so much talent in this country,” he said.

“I stand on the shoulders of the great Canadian astronauts before me, they inspired me to be the best that I could be.”

Kutryk, 35, was fascinated with space as a child, according to a biography posted on the Canadian Space Agency website. He said he knew his life would focus on helping to explore it.

“I have always wanted to leave the world a better place than I found it, and I believe that space is one area where I can do so, Kutryk said in a question and answer on the space agency’s website.

Sidey, who will be 29 in August, said her motto is “fortune favours the brave.” She said her greatest previous achievement was to become a lecturer at Cambridge, something she never dreamed of when she first moved to Britain in 2011 as a engineering graduate.

Sidey and Kutryk will move to Houston this month to start the two year training program for astronaut candidates. The program provides instruction in the systems on board the International Space Station and a host of other things ranging from spacewalks to survival training to Russian language instruction.

The two astronauts will be officially welcomed Tuesday at Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Quebec.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect of interest ID’d after man shot near Surrey school

Police don’t know what motive was in shooting near Surrey-Delta border

Santa pics help Langley charity

The jolly old elf is aiding a scholarship and a sponsored Christmas Bureau family.

Double graves coming to Surrey civic cemeteries for the first time

Surrey council approves cemetery bylaw changes, which will also allow upright headstones

Cloverdale’s Christmas shopping kicks off with Ladies’ Night Out next week

Check out Cloverdale businesses, vendors, and more Thursday, Nov. 30

VIDEO: MP details what gang and housing announcements mean for Surrey

Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai speaks about recent funding commitments

South Surrey traffic busy on Black Friday

Traffic slow across region as shoppers search for deals

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Last days for notorious homeless camp in Chilliwack River Valley

One local sports fisher frustrated by slow response from police and all levels of government

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Most Read