Colonel Joshua Kutryk – Photo from the Canadian Space Agency

A Canadian astronaut with ties to 4 Wing is headed to the International Space Station.

On November 22nd, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced that Colonel Joshua Kutryk will fly aboard the new CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to the space station on a six-month mission, to take place no later than 2025. This will be the first mission for the new spacecraft.

“I am grateful to represent Canada on this mission,” explained Kutryk.  “Space, for me, is about curiosity, adventure, innovation and science. But it’s also about collaboration. Collaboration towards future opportunities. Space is about collaborating for a better future. It’s about our future; it’s about Canadian prosperity. Our country decided decades ago to invest in space because it helps us solve challenges for Canadians, and we are still driven by this purpose today. I’m committed to making the most out of this incredible opportunity for our country.”

Kutryk, who was born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, spent a number of years with the Royal Canadian Air Force prior to his role with the CSA. In 2015, Kutryk spent time at CFB Cold Lake as a test pilot with the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE). He also served as an instructor pilot on the CF-18 while at 4 Wing.

The CSA says the Starliner-1 mission will allow Kutryk to “conduct scientific experiments and test new technologies. Canadians from all backgrounds will have special access to this mission. Joshua Kutryk is particularly interested in inspiring young people and sparking their interest in space, science, technology, engineering and mathematics by offering them an extraordinary glimpse into the greatest moments of his mission.”

He’ll serve as the Mission Specialist and Flight Engineer and joins United States-born crew members, Commander Scott Tingle and Pilot Mike Fincke.

Kutryk was selected as an astronaut by the CSA in 2017. He joins Colonel Jeremy Hansen, himself a 4 Wing alumnus, as the second Canadian astronaut headed into space in the next two years. Hansen will orbit the Moon as part of the crew of Artemis II, set to take place in November 2024.

Jenni Gibbons, an Engineer from Calgary, will serve as Hansen’s backup for the mission.

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