RMC Grad is Canada’s Newest Astronaut

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Astronaut Joshua Kutryk

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the country’s two newest astronauts at a Canada Day celebration on Saturday.

One of the selected astronauts is a former Kingston resident, while attending the Royal Military College, Joshua Kutryk, BEng (2004).

Before returning to RMC and earning a master’s degree in defence studies in 2014, Kutryk also earned a master’s degree in space studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida and a master’s degree in flight test engineering from the United States Air Force’s Air University in Alabama.

Joshua Kutryk is a Tactical Fighter Pilot with the 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron. A CF-18 Hornet combat-ready pilot, he has participated at air shows and is a volunteer instructor with the Air Cadet league.

In a Canada Day video posted to his Twitter account, Kutryk thanked his friends, family and teachers, calling it an exciting and a proud day.

A fellow Albertan, and alumnae of McGill University and the University of Cambridge, Jennifer Sidey was also named one of Canada’s newest astronauts by the Prime Minister.

Other astronauts who called Kingston home while they attended school here include Chris Hadfield, an RMC grad and 3-time traveler to the International Space Station (ISS) who became the first Canadian to walk in space and commanded the ISS in 2013; and Andrew Feustel, an American who received his PhD in Geological Sciences at Queen’s University (PhD’95) and worked for 3 years as a Geophysicist for the Engineering Seismology Group in Kingston. Feustel will command the ISS when he returns to space for the third time in 2018.

Also RMC alumni are astronauts Jeremy Hansen, who received a Bachelor of Science degree in Space Science (1999), and Marc Garneau, who received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from RMC (1970).

Another future astronaut is likely to be Queen’s University alumn, Elon Musk, the founder, CEO and lead designer at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) who famously said in a 2013 keynote address: “I’d like to die on Mars, just not on impact.”

Meet the newest members of the Canadian Astronaut team in this CBC News interview.

Photo: Canadian Space Agency