Two Canadian Astronauts Given Mission Assignments

Pilot Joshua Kutryk has been assigned to crew Starliner-1, which will transport him and three other astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month mission, which is expected to launch in 2025.

The Starliner-1 will be the first operational mission for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spaceship to the ISS. After Kutryk’s mission is complete, a Starliner spaceship will return him to Earth.

Kutryk, born in and raised near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in 1982, learned to fly while an air cadet. He later served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a CF-18 pilot based in Quebec, flying NATO missions in Libya and Afghanistan. He later served as an instructor and as a test pilot for CF-18s in Cold Lake, Alberta. Kutryk joined the Canadian Space Agency astronaut corps in 2017.

Also announced was the assignment of Dr. Jenni Gibbons as the backup for Artemis II astronaut Jeremy Hansen, also of the CSA. She will train alongside Hansen and will take his place on the moon mission should he not be able to participate. Gibbons will also train for a support role as ‘capcom’ for the Artemis moon missions.

Gibbons was also born in Alberta – in Calgary in 1988. She served as an assistant professor in the Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery Division of the U.K.’s University of Cambridge, where she had obtained her doctorate in engineering. Gibbons joined the CSA as an astronaut in 2020. She has since served as a mission control ‘capcom’ for the ISS.

“These assignments are clear proof of the impressive reputation our astronaut corps has,” said Innovation, Science and Industry Minster François-Philippe Champagne. “From the International Space Station to the Moon, Jenni Gibbons and Joshua Kutryk are about to write an exciting new chapter of Canada’s history in space.”