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

Reel Reviews: Parlour games or video games

We say, “Rampage is silly fun and Truth or Dare is just silly”

Rain barrels, compost bins popular on Earth Day in Kelowna

Regional District’s annual sale sees all rain barrels sell in 90 minutes

Nature Centre fundraiser uproots

Allan Brooks Nature Centre’s Wine and Wild Things is June 23 at Lonepine Ranch

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Low fog creates stunning views near Sicamous

Motorists on the highway between Salmon Arm and Sicamous were treated to spectacular scenery.

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Okanagan-Similkameen freshet looms large: district

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says property owners have window to prepare for flooding

Bussard to bring left-side power to Heat

Jade Bussard to join UBCO women’s volleyball squad for 2018-19 Canada West season

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

KWIC swimmers compete in Montreal, Victoria

Kelowna-West Kelowna swimmers take to the pool at nationals and westerns.

Half-naked shooter guns down four, runs away in Nashville Waffle House shooting

Nashville police say they are looking for Travis Reinking in connection with the shooting

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Most Read