May 5th is #NationalAstronautDay which celebrates the unique contributions, adventurous spirits, and explorations of Astronauts around the world.

The date was started in the U.S. by Annie Balliro, President & CEO Uniphi Space Agency, to mark the milestone achievement in space exploration when Astronaut Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. became the First American in space aboard the Freedom 7 Space Capsule in 1961. The sub-orbital flight  lasted approximately 15 minutes and reached a height of 116 miles into the atmosphere.

Today we will be exploring some of the Canadian astronauts who followed their astronomical dreams and reached the stars!

DYK? Astronauts in Canada must go through a three phase training program:

1. Astronauts’ basic training
2. Ongoing training and tasks while awaiting a mission
3. Mission-specific training

Basic training includes:

CSA orientation
History of space flight
Fundamentals of space flight
Space operations and procedures
International Space Station systems
Life science
Materials and fluid science
Earth observation
Space science
Human behaviour and performance
Flight training
Parachute jumps
Physical training
First aid and CPR
Language training (e.g. learning Russian)
Operation of photographic equipment
Media relations
Survival training

Want to know what Astronauts do and how to become an Astronaut? Read more:


Kelly Ralston – Social Media & Program Coordinator