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Astronauts wanted – Episode 4, Part 1: My dream


Uploaded on June 2, 2017

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Astronauts wanted – Episode 4, Part 1: My dream

2017-06-02 - For the fourth time in its history, Canada is looking for exceptional people ready to push the boundaries of science, innovation and space exploration.

3772 Canadians responded to the call. Following preliminary tests and evaluations, 17 candidates have been selected to go to the next stage. In this video, part one of a three-part episode, six of the seventeen candidates share what led them to pursue their dream of becoming one of the next Canadian astronauts. Parts two and three will feature the remaining 11 candidates.

Visit our website to find out who is still in the running! (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

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Neil Armstrong: It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. 

Chris Hadfield: The summer that I turned 10 years old, I saw Neil and Buzz walk on the moon.

Unidentified male: Okay, Neil, we can see you coming down the ladder now.

Chris Hadfield: It was incredible. It was inspiring. It had been impossible, but suddenly I realized this is maybe something I could do. It changed the path of my life.

Hi, I'm Chris Hadfield. The Canadian Space Agency's astronaut recruitment is reaching its conclusion. That means the top candidates have been chosen. Each one of these candidates has been working through the entire year pursuing what seems like the almost impossible dream of becoming an astronaut. Each of them has their own reasons for pursuing it, and they've made choices throughout their life to get them to this moment.

Unidentified male: All set?

Francis Frenzel: Second Lieutenant Francis Frenzel, pilot, Royal Canadian Air Force.

Andréane Vidal: Captain Andréane Vidal, officer, Canadian Special Operations Forces.

Erik Kroeker: Erik Kroeker, lecturer at the University of Illinois.

Jesse Zroback: Jesse Zroback, rural family doctor and assistant professor.

Jennifer Sidey: Jenni Sidey, lecturer at the University of Cambridge.

Adam Sirek: Captain Adam Sirek, family physician and Air Force reservist.

Jesse Zroback: When the Canadian Space Agency posted that they were looking for two new astronauts, I thought to myself, wow, this is the dream of a lifetime. When I was in high school, I had a strong interest in math, science and health. So I ended up by choosing to go into engineering. Then I decided to go into medicine and so it's this variety of these STEM fields in my academics that has prepared me really well to be an astronaut and apply to be an astronaut.

Andréane Vidal: For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to push my personal limits. I always wanted to make new discoveries. I joined the Canadian Armed Forces when I was 16 years old. I wanted to see the world, and it allowed me to combine my education with constantly changing operational work experience. Becoming an astronaut would allow me to combine all kinds of passions and not only push my own limits, but also expand our general knowledge of the universe.

Francis Frenzel: The single most important event in my life that made me decide to be an astronaut was seeing the first images we got back from the Mars Rover Sojourner. My 11-year-old mind was just so fascinated by the fact that humans had built a robot, launched it from Earth. It flew all the way to Mars, landed safely, and started taking pictures and sending data back to us on Earth. Since that moment, I've been completely inspired that this space program is a beautiful pursuit and that I'm fortunate being a candidate. We have such a great space program; it's actually something I can be a part of.

Chris Hadfield: Right from the beginning, I knew the odds were terrible that I would become an astronaut. So I always held it as a long-term goal but then made life choices with things that I loved, things that I knew would give me other options, things that would give me a fulfilling and interesting life and maybe someday allow me to be an astronaut.

Adam Sirek: Being an astronaut is something that I've always dreamed of and has underpinned a lot of the various activities and things that I've done in my life. Becoming an air cadet and getting my pilot's licence since the age of 16, being able to fly a plane before I could drive a car, and then pursuing medicine as a career and learning about aerospace medicine has sort of chased me down a path where I've been able to see how space and all the different space-related fields come together. Being an astronaut is the ultimate achievement of those.

Jennifer Sidey: I'm an engineer, which means that I try and improve people's lives through applied science. I did my engineering degree back at McGill University in Montreal, and there I became interested in thermodynamics and eventually I had this really cool professor who studied fire. That's what I got interested in, and I did some combustion experiments in microgravity which got me interested in space. I really like this sort of research, so I continued on to do a PhD and have been interested in fire and space ever since.

Erik Kroeker: The entirety of my career really exists in education. Starting with my undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering, moving on to my master's degree, starting to work with satellites and then towards my PhD where I actually began teaching students about how to design, build and fly real-life satellites. All of that has fed into my career path.

Chris Hadfield: This is a dream that requires an enormous level of commitment. You're signing up essentially for a lifetime of service, but each of these final candidates has shown us that they have what it takes. 

Jesse Zroback: If I could send a message to one of our astronauts, I would send a message to David Saint-Jacques. He's our astronaut who's going to be going to space next year. I'd like to wish him good luck in all his training.

Adam Sirek: I'd like to thank him for all of the opportunities and the inspiration he has given to many young aerospace professionals and medical professionals.

Jennifer Sidey: I would choose Roberta Bondar because when I was growing up Roberta Bondar was really important to me. She's this amazing role model as Canada's first female astronaut.

Erik Kroeker: Growing up watching her--absolutely an inspiration and I cannot say to her how much you were an inspiration my entire life.

Andréane Vidal: I would love to send a message to Julie Payette. Her gift to my entire generation was the dream that a woman could succeed in any field, and for that I thank her.

Francis Frenzel: I would want to send it to every single Canadian astronaut. Thank you for inspiring me, and thank you for being a great role model that everybody can look up to. Thanks for being a shining example of Canada's efforts in space.


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