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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.

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VanBommel, Scott

Scott VanBommel

Where were you born?
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Where do you currently live?
Guelph, Ontario, Canada


  • Bachelor's, physics – University of Guelph
  • Master's, physics – University of Guelph
  • Ph.D., physics (expected spring 2017) – University of Guelph

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

What is your current job?

Doctorate student in physics, University of Guelph - I am a member of the science teams and APXS instrument teams on the Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity.

My team members and I analyze the data returned from Mars and contribute to the day-to-day operations of the rovers. The APXS (Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer) is an instrument on the rover arm that measures the composition of rocks; it is also the Canadian instrument on the Curiosity rover mission!

Why do you want to become an astronaut?

A career as an astronaut is one of lifelong learning, hard work, and dedication. Astronauts push themselves and others to be the best they can be alongside likeminded individuals from around the world. They break the boundaries of science and exploration all while engaging and energizing our leaders and decision makers of tomorrow. I am drawn to everything that comprises an astronaut's life on Earth. Add to that the possibility that one may get to go to space someday, and what more could one ask for?

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