Canadian Astronaut Corps

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The Canadian Astronaut Corps is a unit of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) that selects, trains, and provides astronauts as crew members for U.S. and Russian space missions.[1] The Canadian Space Agency was established in 1989.

Since 1984, when Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space, eleven Canadians have flown on US NASA Space Shuttles and on Russian Soyuz rockets in 15 missions.[2][3]

In May 2009, Robert Thirsk flew to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month stay, thus becoming the first Canadian to stay aboard the ISS for an extended period. On December 1, 2009, after spending 188 days in space, Robert Thirsk returned to Earth aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian Commander of the ISS, would go on to achieve worldwide fame in 2013 for releasing a music video he recorded on the International Space Station of his version of David Bowie's song "Space Oddity". Another astronaut, Julie Payette would go on to serve as the Governor General of Canada.


The "Astronauts" program is one of 7 main divisions within the CSA. In addition to its astronaut corps, one of the most prominent contributions of Canada to space exploration is the robotic arm on the US space shuttles, the Canadarm.

As of December 2013, there are 2 active astronauts in the Canadian corps (Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques) and 9 former astronauts who have gone into space.[4] Of the 11 current and former Canadian astronauts who have gone into space, 2 are women: Julie Payette and Roberta Bondar.


The CSA generally recruits astronauts who have degrees as scientists, engineers and/or medical doctors.[5] In addition to being Canadian citizens or residents, candidates must meet certain physical standards (including height, weight, hearing and visual acuity) as well as educational requirements.


Active astronauts[edit]

Currently the CSA has four active astronauts. All four have yet to fly their first mission, although David Saint-Jacques is set to the ISS on Soyuz MS-11 in December of 2018[6].

Astronaut Missions Group
Jeremy Hansen N/A 2009 CSA Group
Joshua Kutryk N/A (Currently in training) 2017 CSA Group
Jennifer Sidey N/A (Currently in training) 2017 CSA Group
David Saint-Jacques Soyuz MS-11 (Expedition 58/59) 2009 CSA Group

Former astronauts[edit]

There are currently ten former CSA astronauts[7].

Astronaut Missions Group
Roberta Lynn Bondar STS-42 1983 NRC Group
Marc Garneau STS-41-G STS-77 STS-97 1983 NRC Group
Chris Hadfield STS-74 STS-100 Soyuz TMA-07M (Expedition 34/35) 1992 CSA Group
Steve MacLean STS-52 STS-115 1983 NRC Group
Michael McKay N/A 1992 CSA Group
Ken Money N/A 1983 NRC Group
Julie Payette STS-96 STS-127 1992 CSA Group
Robert Thirsk STS-78 Soyuz TMA-15 (Expedition 20/21) 1983 NRC Group
Bjarni Tryggvason STS-85 1983 NRC Group
Dafydd Williams STS-90 STS-118 1992 CSA Group

Selection groups[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Canadian Astronauts - Canadian Space Agency". 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  2. ^ "CSA - Astronauts". 2010-07-05. Archived from the original on 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2013-12-07.
  3. ^ Hall, Joseph (16 April 2011). "The Last Blast". Toronto Star. Toronto.
  4. ^ "Canadian Astronauts - Former - Canadian Space Agency". 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  5. ^ "National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign - Canadian Space Agency". 2008-10-27. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Meet Canada's Two New Astronauts". Canadian Space Agency website. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-03.

External links[edit]