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Colonel Jeremy Hansen talks space to Canadian students

All the way from Huston, TX, Colonel Jeremy Hansen spoke to three Canadian schools via a live virtual presentation. 

Nearly 650 students all together joined from Mayerthorpe Jr/Sr High School in Mayerthrope, AB, Morfee Elementary School, Mackenzie, BC, and Peter Greer Elementary School, Lake Country, BC.

Hansen spoke a little about what Canada’s mission will be once they are aboard the International Space Station. Currently, there are no Canadians in space he added, but in the winter of 2018, David St. Jacques of Quebec City, will join the ISS. 

“The astronauts are working together to accomplish some really cool things,” said Hansen. “Primarily they will learn about the human body in space, the solar system, our universe and more about planet Earth by looking back at it.”

When asked what it takes to eventually becoming an astronaut, Hansen said you need to know three things. First, Academics, which he calls the “first pillar.” When you hit university level, Hansen advises picking an interest within the science realm and become an expert.

“What that shows, is that you know how to learn and that’s really important,” he said. “We’re always going to be doing new things, and we’re going to need you to learn.”

Secondly, Hansen said you need to challenge yourself. When Hansen was in high school, he said he joined the Air Cadets, where they pushed him to try new things and where he learned to become a leader. You don’t have to join the Air Cadets though, Hansen said anything that challenges you to try new things works just fine.

Lastly, you need to be a team player. Hansen said this is very important because astronauts spend a lot of time together in confined spaces.

“Treat people as if you were living in a tin can with them,” said Hansen. “Treat people as you want to be treated.”

As technology advances, Hansen said companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing and Sierra Nevada have been experimenting with the idea of reusable rockets. With the ability to reuse rockets, Hansen said trips to space will become significantly inexpensive, much like aviation did.

“Space is changing, and there are enormous opportunities for those who prepare now,” said Hansen. “In about a year, we’re going to be launching humans in a SpaceX and Boeing rocket.”

Hansen joined the Royal Canadian Airforce in 1994, where he eventually became a fighter pilot. He earned his Bachelor of Science in space science in 1999 and graduated with First Class Honours. In 2000, he earned his Master of Science in physics from the same school, with a research focus on Wide Field of View Satellite Tracking. Nine years ago, he eventually became an astronaut and completed two years of basic training to prepare for his flight assignment.

Feature images courtesy of © Canadian Space Agency

Photo on the right:

Canadian astronauts Joshua Kutryk and Jeremy Hansen

Canadian astronauts Joshua Kutryk (left) and Jeremy Hansen (right) seize the opportunity to fly together before the start of astronaut training. Prior to joining the Canadian Space Program, they were both pilots with the Canadian Armed Forces. In this picture, they are standing in front of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 2017 Canada 150 CF-18 Demonstration Hornet.

(Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

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Miranda Brumwell

Miranda attended Niagara College in 2014, completing the two-year Journalism program. She currently resides in London, ON with her boyfriend and baby boy. In her spare time, Miranda enjoys reading, cooking, photography, watercolour painting and spending time with family and friends.

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