One, two, three, four.
Chris Hadfield: Never in my wildest dreams could I have expected to have had the opportunities that I did: to have flown in space three times; to have done space walks; to have commanded the International Space Station.
Thank you, sir.
Even now, it seems unbelievable. And yet this is the type of thing that Canadian astronauts do.
Hi. I'm Chris Hadfield. The Canadian Space Agency is about to choose two new astronauts, and they'll join David Saint-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen in forming Canada's astronaut corps. These two new astronauts will be chosen from the top candidates after a year-long, rigorous selection process. But no matter who is chosen this time around, these final top candidates are all up to the task. And each of them has expectations of their own.
Unidentified Male: All set?
Vanessa Fulford: Yup. Captain Vanessa Fulford, flight test engineer in the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Matthew Bamsey: Matt Bamsey, a researcher at the German Aerospace Centre.
Nathalie Sleno: Captain Nathalie Sleno, a doctor with the Canadian Armed Forces.
Michael Jordan: Major Michael Jordan, qualified test pilot, Air Force.
Robert Riddell: Major Rob Riddell, a doctor in Canadian Special Operations.
Unidentified Male: Bet I couldn't pick a better spot.
Robert Riddell: When I was growing up, we were just at the tail end of – of the moon walks. And for me, that is still what I associate with space travel. The ability to set foot on the moon, or any planetary body for that matter, would be an absolute thrill.
Unidentified Male: What a ride! What a ride!
Matthew Bamsey: If I were to pick just one, an initial mission, it would be to go to the lunar surface. The moon is where we can test out technologies for long-duration flight and also reinvigorate our human space flight program to take us to those next destinations.
Nathalie Sleno: I love the idea of what it would be like to be standing on the moon and looking back on Earth. But there's also the reality of what a mission to the moon might provide for us as far as research and development for sustaining life and expanding our human presence beyond Earth.
Michael Jordan: I think the thing that excites me most is the opportunity to go to Mars – that's been my dream as long as I can remember. My mom actually dug up a picture that I had drawn in grade two or three with a little subtext saying if I go to Mars I'm going to bring back a car.
Vanessa Fulford: Obviously, any mission in space would be amazing, and I would love to be part of it. But going to a new planet to kind of, you know, have the first footprints in a place that no – no other man or woman had been before would be pretty incredible.
Chris Hadfield: It's along the road of – of our destiny as humans to eventually move off the planet, and it's just a tremendous opportunity to be involved in the next step of evolution.
Unidentified Male: Go!
Chris Hadfield: When I was selected as an astronaut, I didn't even know what to hope for. All I really wanted was maybe someday to have a chance to actually fly in space.
Unidentified Male: We are clear.
Chris Hadfield: You never know how far this journey might take you. But in the end, for the chosen two, the dream will become a reality.
Matthew Bamsey: If I could send one message to a Canadian astronaut, it would be a message to our first Canadian astronaut, Marc Garneau. I'd thank him for his dedication to informing our youth about the benefits of space exploration.
Michael Jordan: I think I'd really have to basically send a massive thank-you to Chris Hadfield. You know, his presence and his composure in the light of all the amazing things he was doing I thought was a real inspiration.
Robert Riddell: Jeremy and David, if they can start working on my first mission to the moon that would be fantastic.
Nathalie Sleno: I would want to send it to Julie Payette. When I heard about Julie Payette becoming an astronaut, that blew the glass ceiling off. And I'd want her to know the influence that she had on me.
Vanessa Fulford: I would actually choose all the Canadian astronauts. And I would say thank you to them for all they have done to represent Canada.
Chris Hadfield: If I could send a quick note to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who inspired me, it would just be one of thanks. You inspired us to be bigger and better than we are, to do things that were impossible, to challenge the assumptions, to try and attain stuff that no human had ever done before.