<Astronauts Roberta Bondar, (first row, left to right) Chris Hadfield, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason Marc Garneau, (second row, left to right) Steve Maclean, Julie Payette and Dave Williams pose for a photo at the John H. Chapman Space Centre in St. Hubert, Que. on Sept. 26, 2003.(Photo: Andre Pichette/The Canadian Press)"If you trap people in a tin can for six months — or two years going to Mars — how they treat one another, respecting some of our fundamental Canadian values, it's really important," Hansen said Friday as a new $3-million recruitment campaign was launched. Not that successful recruits are guaranteed a one-way ticket to the red planet. In fact, there's no guarantee that new recruits will even get a chance to slip the surly bonds of Earth's atmosphere. Indeed, said Hansen, the program offers the potential for so much more than just space flight. "We're not going to be asking candidates if they're prepared to go to Mars," he said. "But we're recruiting explorers, and that's exciting."
Working with NASA to broaden horizons for astronauts
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Singh Bains announces the Canadian Space Agency will recruit new astronauts during an event at the Museum of Aviation on June 17, 2016 in Ottawa. (Photo: Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
David Saint-Jacques, who last month became the latest Canadian to enter the NASA space program, said it won't be easy. "They bring you to your knees," Saint-Jacques told a news conference Friday at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. "Every test is an ultimate challenge of what you can give. And then once you've had enough, and you're exhausted, then the test begins."
“They bring you to your knees.”
— David Saint-Jacques, Canadian astronaut
Canadian astronauts Jeremy Hansen (right) and David Saint-Jacques stand in the visitors gallery after being recognized in the House of Commons in Ottawa on June 2, 2015. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)Hansen said he always wanted to be an astronaut but never expected he'd be picked. But after hearing about the Canadian Space Agency's last recruitment drive, he applied. "I thought statistically, realistically there's no way they're going to pick me." Follow @tpedwell on Twitter
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