Two Canadian astronauts commissioned for the lunar mission and the space station – L’Éclaireur Progrès

LONGUEUIL, Qc – Astronauts Jenni Gibbons and Joshua Kutryk were officially assigned Wednesday, the first for the Artemis II lunar mission, the second to spend six months aboard the International Space Station.

Jenni Gibbons, a 35-year-old engineer-physician, has been designated as a backup astronaut for the Artemis II mission and will be ready to don the suit of her compatriot Jeremy Hansen if he is unable to fly. She will therefore undergo exactly the same training as him, while also participating in the development of the mission and the development of astronaut training for lunar missions.

Another of her tasks will be training as a communications manager, as she will be the bridge between Earth and the astronauts on board the Orion capsule.

An investment for the future

Although she is the designated deputy, she fervently wishes that Jeremy Hansen, a close friend, could go to space: “I really want him to do it. For me, this mission doesn’t contradict my desire to go to space – of course I want to go to space – but I see the whole thing as an investment in future missions.”

She hopes Canada continues its partnership in the lunar adventure, as her training will make her a prime candidate for future missions: “If Canada decides to invest in putting boots on the moon, I’m ready.”

The Artemis II mission, which will launch no earlier than November 2024, must fly to the moon and orbit it without landing to test the Orion spacecraft’s systems. The next mission, Artemis III, will land on the Moon. The ultimate goal is to establish the Gateway Base in orbit around the Moon, both to travel back and forth to Earth’s satellite and to serve as a stepping stone to Mars.

A new spaceship

Joshua Kutryk will take part in the first manned flight of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner capsule to the International Space Station. He will stay there for six months to conduct various experiments and maintain the station.

Joshua Kutryk will be the fourth Canadian astronaut to complete a long-term stay aboard the space station and the first to do so on a NASA manned commercial mission. His departure is not expected until early 2025 at the earliest.

As a test pilot for the Canadian Armed Forces, the 41-year-old astronaut has made no secret of the fact that he is very excited about the idea of ​​inaugurating the Starliner: “Developing new technologies, testing new things, new vehicles, that’s very exciting.” Test driver. I’m excited, I’m thrilled. I’m grateful to have this opportunity.”

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, denied that he saw the arrival of the Boeing Starliner as an opportunity to free us from the Russian Soyuz that are currently used to shuttle between the space station and Earth. “In the spirit of the space world, there has always been this spirit of collaboration. The health and safety of astronauts is a top priority for all nations that are part of the space station alliance. It’s one of the rare places where we’ve maintained that collaboration.”

When called again to justify the significant costs associated with the space program, he argued that “space allows us to go further, not just in the literal sense, but it has always had the limits of science shifted, and that’s the interesting thing at the beginning of the 21st century.”

At his side, the President of the Canadian Space Agency, Lisa Campbell, recalled that “the space sector in Canada creates 24,000 jobs and generates $5 billion, representing enormous economic benefits not only financially but also in multiple areas.”


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