Richard Federley and his wife, Jannah Mitchell (left) skydiving near Boulder Colorado. - Image Credit: Corey Ochsman.

Richard Federley and his wife, Jannah Mitchell (left) skydiving near Boulder Colorado. - Image Credit: Corey Ochsman.

UBCO professor won’t walk in space just yet

Richard Federley won’t be Canada’s next astronaut, but he’s hopeful for the future

Even though Richard Federley will not be Canada’s next astronaut, he’s positive about the future.

“I knew that pressing through to the final two were incredibly slim. So making it to that next step was really exciting and even when I was cut, it didn’t come as a massive shock,” he said.

Federley was one of 32 candidates selected by the Canadian Space Agency, who competed for two astronaut positions.

Earthbound for the moment, the UBCO chemistry instructor plans to continue exploring the Okanagan.

“I’m bound to walk the planet for a little bit longer now, but I’ve always lived my life. I still go out and I paraglide and climb and try to experience Kelowna and the Okanagan the best I can. I’m still going to go out and chase after all these things that are fun.”

If presented with another opportunity, Federley said he’ll apply again.

“I think the true test of this, is asking yourself ‘would I go through and apply again if the outcome is going to be the same?’ Absolutely I would say yes.”

And he’s learned a lot through the Space Agency program.

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“Even having the chance to sit down and talk with various media outlets and do interviews has been a fantastic opportunity. I don’t watch the news in the same way,” he said.

Also working with like-minded individuals has inspired Federley in what he calls a “phenomenal experience.”

“These individuals are so talented and so easy to work with that sitting down to do an exercise it was as if I had known them for months,” he said.

He wishes Canada’s next astronauts all the best.

“Looking at the group that’s left, everyone is so talented I think all Canadians, myself included, are going to be very proud of who they pick.”

Federley encourages everyone to apply should another opportunity arise.

“Just go chase after your dreams, even if you don’t obtain it the journey towards it is often the best part”