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

Recount results in a tie in Peachland mayoral race

Harry Gough lead incumbent Cindy Fortin by one vote on election night Saturday

Kelowna Rockets GM hopes to have a new head coach before weekend

Bruce Hamilton says he felt a change had to be made after team lurches to a 4-10 start

Teichrieb will plead guilty in connection with 2016 beating of teen in Kamloops

He was set to stand trial in Kelowna on Tuesday on charges of attempted murder and assault

Ballet Kelowna to kick off 16th season with pair of premiers

Fresh off performances in Beijing and Toronto, company will perform at KCT Nov. 16 and 17

Kelowna Rockets fire head coach

“I feel at this time we need to go in a different direction …”

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

World Junior Hockey fever hits Vernon

Vipers spice up floor ball demonstration at OK Landing School

Shuswap refugee family settles into new, more hopeful life

Father of 10th Syrian family to come to Salmon Arm says learning English, work, top priorities

RCMP seek missing Vernon man

Michael Ramsey, 49, was last seen Oct. 21

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

Most Read