Former Royal Canadian Air Force Pilot, LCol. Joshua Kutryk, recently completed the Canadian Space Agency’s (CSA) two-year basic training in Houston, TX to officially earn the title of Canadian astronaut.
Kutryk was originally chosen to join the CSA in 2017 out of an original pool of 3,772 candidates.
“I look at this job as something that’s very important. I think it’s important to the CSA. I think this job is important to Canada. I think this job is important to science. And when I look at the job, I certainly see something, a way that effectively and efficiently uses my skills and aptitudes and my experiences that I’ve built up to this point in my life,” said Kutryk in an online interview for the CSA.
Originally from Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Kutryk has obtained both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Royal Military College in Kingston. He holds additional master’s degrees from the United States in space studies and flight test engineering.
During his career with the CAF, Kutryk served for several years as a CF-18 fighter pilot with 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Bagotville, QC.
“Being successful as a fighter pilot operationally here in Canada and around the world, but also being successful as a test pilot, the career path has required me to get that education. It’s required me to become good at working with other people, and it’s required me to be a good operator. When I look back on all those three things together, I do think my career path has largely contributed to me being here today, and I’m very thankful for that,” added Kutryk.
While at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, TX, Kutryk’s two-year basic training covered a wide variety of subjects, including space history, fundamentals, international Space Station systems, sciences, survival, and first aid.
Along with Kutryk, the CSA also chose Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons to join the CSA in 2017. She also completed her basic training alongside Kutryk to become an official member of the Canadian astronaut corps.