Language selection


Top of page

Astronaut candidate's profile

The candidates participating in the astronaut selection process all have unique journeys and outstanding qualities and skills. You can read their remarkable profiles here.

View the interactive map

Setterfield, Timothy

Timothy Setterfield

Where were you born?
Lautoka, Fiji

Where do you currently live?
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


  • Bachelor's, mechanical engineering – Queen's University
  • Master's, mechanical & aerospace engineering – Carleton University
  • Ph.D. candidate, aeronautics & astronautics – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Photo of the astronaut candidate during the aptitude tests. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

What is your current job?

Ph.D. candidate, MIT - My work involves developing vision-based navigation algorithms for use on autonomous spacecraft. We are very fortunate at MIT to have access to an on-orbit robotic test platform on the International Space Station called SPHERES. Using these small, volleyball-sized robots inside the Space Station and with the help of the astronauts onboard, we are able to test advanced algorithms in a way that is risk-tolerant. Computer software that I have written has been run on the ISS, and I have had the privilege of talking space-to-ground with astronauts aboard the Space Station.

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

Ever since I can remember I have looked up at the sky with wonder, both in the day at passing airplanes and at night at stars, planets, and the moon. For me, the drive to explore space is strong: nearby planets and moons await robotic exploration and human footsteps; microgravity enables unique science; and orbiting satellites reveal intricacies of Earth's present, past, and future. The goal of exploring the solar system and beyond has been the guiding light for my career, and has motivated me to apply to be a Canadian astronaut.

Date modified: