Canada's aspiring astronauts face arduous application
When Canada's Space Agency months ago put out a call for astronaut applicants, Canadians responded -- 5,352 of them, to be precise. Tragically, only two people will be selected as astronauts, and nothing I can think of -- not astronaut ice-cream, not even a career as a firefighter (perhaps the number #2 childhood career fantasy behind astronaut) -- is awesome enough to console those who are turned away.
It's a long shot but more than 5,000 people with dreams of going into space have applied for the chance to become one of Canada's next two astronauts.
Ontario and Quebec lead the pack of stargazers who have filled in the preliminary application form, while there are three hopefuls from Nunavut and nine each from the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
The Canadian Space Agency launched its latest recruitment campaign in May and 5,352 candidates had registered online when the deadline closed last week.
The list will be whittled down to a final group of about 15 candidates next April.
The two astronauts who will eventually be picked in May 2009 will be trained to conduct experiments on the International Space Station.
With a faith in rockets he's willing to bet his life on, a heavy-duty science background and a boyhood dream to go to space, Marius Paraschivoiu has joined the contest to become one of two new Canadian astronauts.
"There are always risks," said Paraschivoiu, 39, director of Concordia University's aerospace program, and the father of two young children
The Canadian Space Agency is seeking outstanding scientists, engineers and/or medical doctors with a wide variety of backgrounds. Creativity, diversity, teamwork, and a probing mind are qualities required to join the Canadian Space Agency's Astronaut Corps. To withstand the physical demands of training and space flight, candidates must also demonstrate a high level of fitness and a clean bill of health