Canada's Two New Astronauts Get Rousing Ovation at Space Agency near Montreal

By Banerjee, Sidhartha | The Canadian Press, July 4, 2017 | Go to article overview

Canada's Two New Astronauts Get Rousing Ovation at Space Agency near Montreal


Banerjee, Sidhartha, The Canadian Press


Canada's new astronauts visit space agency

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LONGUEUIL, Que. - Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey have no shortage of tasks to accomplish as the new Canadian astronauts navigate their space careers, but one remains high on their to-do lists: inspiring the next generation.

Kutryk, 35, of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., recounted Tuesday that seeing a Canadarm exhibit in Edmonton when he was just six years old triggered his dream to become an astronaut.

"Kids look up to us," Kutryk said as he and Sidey visited the Canadian Space Agency south of Montreal.

"It's a critical part of the job: everyone's life starts somewhere."

Kutryk is an air force pilot with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in defence studies.

Sidey, a Calgary native who has worked as a mechanical engineer, was a lecturer with the University of Cambridge.

"It's wild, it's certainly my hope that kids will be able to look at Josh and I and think they could be in our shoes in a couple of years time," Sidey said. "That's really important to me."

Sidey has spent much of her life pushing for girls and women to get involved in the engineering field and she will use her platform to continue that.

"I've done a lot of work to try to make sure that engineering is for everyone," she said.

"Engineering is just using science to make people's lives better. That's the only requirement. Besides that, it's completely up to whoever wants to study it to take it where they want."

Sidey, who turns 29 in August, says her dreams of becoming an astronaut date back to 1992 when Roberta Bondar went into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

She was about four when her mother helped her make a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and she fashioned her own space shuttle out of a toilet paper roll with the word "Jenni" written on it. …

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