Three Quebeckers among the 17 astronauts

Three Quebeckers are on the short list of 17 candidates who could become the next Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronauts.

Charles-Philippe Lajoie, a native of Rouyn-Noranda, then Evan Alexander Beirne Thomas and Andréane Vidal of Montreal qualified for the final stage of the selection process.

Federal Minister of Innovation Navdeep Bains unveiled the names of the 17 astronauts on Monday morning in Toronto.

Mr. Lajoie is a scientist currently working in Maryland on the James Webb Space Telescope – a project led by NASA – while Dr. Thomas is a Professor of Mechanical and Public Health at Portland State University , In Oregon.

Ms. Vidal, based in Belleville, Ontario, is a member of the Canadian Forces who is responsible for researching and developing future capabilities.

At the beginning of the CSA recruitment process, by June 2016, 3772 people had applied. The list was then reduced to 72, to 32, and finally to 17 aspirants.

Evan Alexander Beirne Thomas is a native of Montreal …. (The Canadian Press, Cole Burston) – image 4.0
Evan Alexander Beirne Thomas is originally from Montreal.


Apart from the three Quebeckers, there are six Ontarians, four Albertans, one New Brunswicker, one Nova Scotian, one British Columbian and one Manitoban.

Only two candidates will become the new CSA astronauts. They will be selected by summer.

These new astronauts will join the other two of the team, Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques, who will be staying at the International Space Station in November 2018.

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