Astronaut Selection Proceeds in U.S., Canada

National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign Closes in One Week
CSA Press Release

The Canadian Space Agency reminds Canadians that the National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign closes on June 26, 2008, with only one week remaining for candidates to apply to be considered for the Canadian Astronaut Corps.

By May 2009, two candidates taken from this process will be selected and begin their training to represent Canada in future space exploration missions, including long-duration spaceflights on the International Space Station. Among their tasks, astronauts will help assemble and maintain the Station and conduct scientific and industrial research enhancing the quality of life on Earth.

“The National Astronaut Recruitment Campaign is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Steve MacLean, CSA Chief Astronaut. “Anyone who is interested and who meets the minimum qualifications is strongly encouraged to apply. The CSA will conduct a thorough review to select the best candidates, and we hope to have the broadest possible pool of applicants.”

Since the Campaign launched on May 22, approximately 4,000 applications have been submitted. Approximately 20 % of all applicants to date are women.

U.S. Air Force Nominates 114 for Astronaut Program
USAF Press Release

The Air Force Astronaut Nomination Board has forwarded 114 nominations to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for consideration in the pilot and mission specialist categories. The board was held May 13 to 15 and the medical screening panel was held May 20 to 22. More than 200 noninees were considered. 

Forty-eight names were forwarded in the astronaut pilot category while 66 names were forwarded in the mission specialist category. Candidates from that pre-selection are then evaluated by NASA, with the highest-qualified individuals invited to Johnson Space Center, Houston, for interviews this fall.

Airmen selected by NASA will be detailed to the JSC astronaut office for a one-year candidacy program. They will enter the basic astronaut training program, contributing to the design, development and testing of the Ares launch and the Orion crew exploration vehicles. In addition, they will participate in planning for future human operations on the moon.

The Air Force nominees will compete with those nominated by the other services and civilian applicants. NASA selections are expected to be announced to the services in May 2009.