The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Dave Williams performs a spacewalk during Shuttle Mission in 2007.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Dave Williams performs a spacewalk during Shuttle Mission in 2007.

Okanagan connection in race to become Canada’s next astronaut

Candidates with ties to Kelowna, include surgeons, pilots, and physicists vying for two spots with the Canadian Space Agency

  • Feb. 3, 2017 11:00 a.m.

They’re courageous, have determination, and travel beyond the Earth to help push scientific knowledge forward.

That’s how the Canadian Space Agency defines an astronaut. And that’s what the space agency is looking for in the next two Canadians who’ll get to put the coolest job title on their LinkedIn profile.

And two men with ties to Kelowna are among 72 candidates looking to become Canada’s next astronauts.

In a list released this week, 72 people are in the running to fill the two spots.

Richard Federley, a chemistry instructor at University of British Columbia Okanagan campus said he’d love to be an astronaut because of his love to explore and insatiable curiosity to understand how things work.

“I want to become an astronaut because I believe my life experiences, education, and scientific knowledge will allow me to significantly contribute to the advancement of science and spaceflight,” he says in his bio.

The other candidate with a Kelowna connection is Ross Semeniuk, a wing surgeon for the air force originally from the city.

There are six in the running from B.C. including Jay Cullen, professor of chemical oceanography, University of Victoria, Michael Koehle, a physician-scientist, at UBC’s Vancouver campus, Jason Leuschen, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot born in Murrayville; and Gavin Tansley, a general surgery resident originally from Vancouver.

These candidates, and the other 66 applicants were narrowed down from more than 3,500 submissions in the summer.

The space agency will continue its selection process over the next year, and will update its list of those still in the running regularly.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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