Trudeau un­veils Canada’s new­est astro­nauts: Jen Sidey and Josh Kutryk

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - BY THE CANADIAN PRESS

Two Al­ber­tans were named Canada’s new­est astro­nauts Satur­day as the coun­try marked its 150th birth­day.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau used the plat­form of wa­ter­logged Canada Day cel­e­bra­tions in Ot­tawa to name Jen­nifer Sidey of Cal­gary and Joshua Kutryk of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.

Sidey is a lec­turer with the Univer­sity of Cam­bridge who has worked as a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer, while Kutryk is an air force pi­lot who also holds a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing and a mas­ter’s de­gree in de­fence stud­ies.

Sidey told the crowd she was in­spired to be­come an astro­naut in 1992 when Roberta Bon­dar went into space aboard the space shut­tle Dis­cov­ery. She said she had the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend a speech in Cal­gary by Canada’s first fe­male astro­naut.

“I re­mem­ber look­ing up to her be­ing ex­cited at the idea of be­ing a sci­en­tist, be­ing a Canadian and hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore places be­yond our world,’’ she said.

“I’m grate­ful to have had that role model and that mem­ory makes this mo­ment so pow­er­ful for me.’’

Kutryk, who holds the rank of lieu­tenant-colonel in the air force, said he is hon­oured to be join­ing the Canadian Space Agency. “Through­out the re­cruit­ment cam­paign, Jenny and I met some amaz­ing Cana­di­ans, sci­en­tists, doc­tors, en­gi­neers, pi­lots like my­self. There is so much tal­ent in this coun­try,’’ he said.

“I stand on the shoul­ders of the great Canadian astro­nauts be­fore me, they in­spired me to be the best that I could be.’’

Kutryk, 35, was fas­ci­nated with space as a child, ac­cord­ing to a bi­og­ra­phy posted on the Canadian Space Agency web­site. He said he knew his life would fo­cus on help­ing to ex­plore it.

“I have al­ways wanted to leave the world a bet­ter place than I found it, and I be­lieve that space is one area where I can do so, Kutryk said in a ques­tion and an­swer on the space agency’s web­site.

Sidey, who will be 29 in Au­gust, said her motto is “for­tune favours the brave.’’

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau wel­comes Canada’s new­est astro­nauts Jen­nifer Sidey and Joshua Kutryk dur­ing Canada 150 cel­e­bra­tions on Par­lia­ment Hill in Ot­tawa on Satur­day.

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