Jenni Sidey-Gibbons and Joshua Kutryk are Canada’s newest astronauts. Today, they graduate from basic training at NASA and are now qualified to travel to space. It is possible that the pair could become the first astronauts from Canada to step foot on the moon.
Both astronauts are Albertan—Kutryk is from Fort Saskatchewan and Sidey-Gibbons is from Calgary. According to CBC, the two have been training in the Artemis program at NASA for two years alongside 11 other candidates. The program is planning to send the astronauts to the moon by 2024.
The two have been working with International Space Station robotics systems to gain the skills they’ll need for taking off from earth and working in space. They have also been practicing spacewalking and learning to speak some Russian. The training has made them eligible for a number of things including a possible mission to Mars, according to NASA.
Jeremy Hanson was their teacher and is the first Canadian teacher of the class.
The CSA released a video showing the pair talking about their dreams of space travel.
Kutryk said, “Just the thought of the day when we might see a Canadian flag on the moon is something that excites me like nothing else. That day is coming.”
The pair are Canada’s newest astronauts since 2009 when David Saint-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen were hired.
Before becoming an astronaut, Kutryk was in the Royal Canadian Air Force and Sidey-Gibbons was an assistant professor. She taught at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Engineering.