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Canadian Astronaut Joshua Kutryk will speak to students from the Yukon and Northern B.C.

On April 9, 2021, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Joshua Kutryk will speak to students from the Yukon and Northern B.C.

He will share his story, talk about his career as an astronaut, and answer questions from students at Christ the King Elementary School and Del Van Gorder Elementary School in the Yukon who have won a visit from an astronaut through the Junior Astronauts campaign. He will also interact with over 200 students at the Yukon Stikine Regional Science Fair, which will be held in a virtual format this year.

Born March 21, 1982, in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Kutryk was raised on a cattle farm in eastern Alberta.

“As a child I was fascinated with space. I knew that my life would focus on helping explore it. As an adult, I realize human space exploration is important to us all as individuals and as Canadians. I have always wanted to leave the world a better place than I found it, and I believe that space is one area where I can do so. I want to serve Canadians in a way befitting my aptitudes and interests. I want to inspire them. Above all, I want to help humanity broaden its collective horizon.”

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Joshua Kutryk 

Prior to joining the Canadian Space Program, LCol Kutryk worked as an experimental test pilot and a fighter pilot in Cold Lake, Alberta, where he led the unit responsible for the operational flight-testing of fighter aircraft in Canada.

As the officer in charge of fighter evaluations, he was responsible for safely conducting the initial airborne evaluations of new technologies and systems on the CF-18. He worked with a team of aerospace engineers, analysts, aircraft technicians and program managers in order to make the CF-18 safer and more effective in its mission. LCol Kutryk has worked on a variety of technical flight test projects, ranging from out-of-control flying to automated navigation and flight control systems to weapon guidance and control. In addition, he has worked extensively as an instructor, teaching other pilots how to fly the CF-18 on demanding missions.

In 2012, LCol Kutryk received the prestigious Liethen-Tittle Award from the United States Air Force for being their top test pilot graduate, an award also presented to Colonel Chris Hadfield in 1988.

From 2007 to 2011, LCol Kutryk served as a CF-18 fighter pilot with 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron in Bagotville, Quebec. During that time he flew missions in support of NATO, UN and NORAD commitments around the world. He has been deployed in both Libya and Afghanistan.

LCol Kutryk holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (1st Class Distinction) from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario (2004). He also earned a master’s degree in space studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida (2009), a master’s degree in flight test engineering from the United States Air Force’s Air University in Alabama (2012), and a master’s degree in defence studies from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario (2014).

LCol Kutryk was one of two recruits selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in July 2017 through the fourth Canadian astronaut recruitment campaign.

LCol Kutryk was one of the top 16 candidates (from over 5,350 hopefuls) during Canada’s 2009 astronaut recruitment campaign. Due to his perseverance and dedication, he now finds himself in the Canadian Astronaut Corps.

In July 2017, LCol Kutryk relocated to Houston, Texas, to take the two-year Astronaut Candidate Training Program at the Johnson Space Center as a member of the 2017 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut class.

The program includes scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station (ISS) systems, simulated extravehicular activities (EVAs, or spacewalks), robotics, physiological training, flight training, Russian language courses, and sea and wilderness survival training.

LCol Kutryk completed the two-year Astronaut Candidate Training Program and obtained the official title of astronaut in January 2020.

Kutryk hold many special honours: Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference Delegate (2015), Liethen-Tittle Award for top test pilot graduate (2012), Distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (2012), Canadian Forces Decoration (2012), Article 5 NATO Medal (2011), Southwest Asia General Campaign Star (2010), Tristan de Koninck Trophy for F-18 flying skill (2007), City of Moose Jaw flying trophy (2006), A.C. Leonard Birchall Award for undergraduate research (2004), Top Overall Flying Proficiency during primary flight training (2003), Professional Engineers of Ontario Undergraduate Academic Scholarship (2002), Right Honourable Don Mazankowski Scholarship (2001), Governor General’s Academic Medal (2000), Neil Armstrong Memorial Scholarship (2000), Alexander Rutherford Scholarship for Academic Achievement (1999).

  • Date of birth: March 21, 1982
  • From: Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada
  • Background: Test pilot, fighter pilot, engineer, lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Education: Bachelor in mechanical engineering; master in space studies; master in flight test engineering; master in defence studies
  • Flight certification: Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), fixed wing experimental test pilot, fighter pilot, civilian and military instructor pilot; 3,500 hours of flying experience on more than 25 aircraft types
  • Languages: English, French
  • Mission: Waiting for a flight assignment

Information provided by Canadian Space Agency

Media are invited to attend. Please contact the CSA’s Media Relations Office at to obtain the links to connect to the virtual sessions.

Date:Friday, April 9, 2021 
Time:11:00 a.m. PT
Students of Christ the King Elementary School in Whitehorse
1:00 p.m. PT
Students from the Yukon and Northern B.C. at the Yukon Stikine Regional Science Fair
2:15 p.m. PT
Students of Del Van Gorder Elementary School in Faro
What:Presentation and question period with Joshua Kutryk, Canadian Space Agency astronaut


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