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Get excited, people. Canada has two new astronauts that we’re going to be sending into space (at some point) and if they’re even half as cool as Chris Hadfield, we want to meet them. Justin Trudeau announced during the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on the weekend that Albertans Dr. Jennifer Sidey and Joshua Kutryk have been selected by the Canadian Space Agency to be the next Canadians in space. And the crowd goes wild!

After what literally everyone describes as a “grueling” year of tests, these two beat out over 3,700 competitors to secure their seats on the ISS. How grueling were these tests, you ask? Oh not that bad. They just had to fight a huge fire, worm their way out of a dark, confined tunnel and escape from an upside-down helicopter that was underwater. The challenges are designed to test the boundaries of how much stress a person can take. No big deal.

Next month, Sidey and Kutryk will be heading to a NASA base in Houston to start the two-year training program that will eventually land them in space. It’s been a long road (and there’s still a ways to go) but these astronauts are determined to get to the stars. And Canada’s ready to watch it happen.

So who are these new humans in the Canadian spotlight?

Jennifer Sidey

Dr. Sidey is a mechanical engineer with a PhD in engineering and combustion. She’s originally from Alberta but currently lives in the U.K. so she’ll be packing up and switching continents (again) in the next month. She is Canada’s third female astronaut and is honored to walk in the footsteps of Roberta Bondar and Julie Payette.

Roberta Bondar is actually a huge role model for Sidey, who remembers being four when Bondar took her first space flight. Sidey got to speak to her idol on the phone the day she got her flight suit. Talk about fulfilling childhood dreams!

And in case you’re wondering, Sidey’s favourite movie is Alien, for obvious reasons.

Josh Kutryk

Josh Kutryk, an air force pilot, has his own space-idol and it is none other than national treasure, Chris Hadfield. Not only was Kutryk inspired by Hadfield, he pretty much replicated his life. If we didn’t know this guy had been thoroughly vetted by a government agency, we’d be a little creeped out, actually. Kutryk went to the same university as Hadfield, the same flight school and even flew a fighter jet for the same squadron. He applied to the space program in 2009 and made it to the final 16 applicants, but didn’t quite make the cut that year. Thank goodness he was eager to try again. You know what they say about not succeeding the first time.

We’re excited to see some more Canadians in space. The only thing we still need addressed: will these two be singing to us from the ISS a la Hadfield?

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