About the job

David Saint-Jacques' first NBL training

Being an astronaut is both exciting and incredibly demanding. It requires exceptional commitment and extensive travel, often away from family.

Once they are selected by the Canadian Space Agency, astronauts embark upon a thrilling adventure. Below are some of the tasks they perform and training they take.

Astronauts' basic training

Once they are selected, aspiring astronauts must take about two years of training at NASA.

Ongoing training and tasks while awaiting a mission

While awaiting a mission assignment, astronauts must support ongoing space activities and maintain their skills.

Mission-specific training

When they are officially assigned to a mission, astronauts have about two years to prepare for it.


Capcoms are the link between astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) and Mission Control Center.

Space mission simulations

During their years of training, astronauts participate in a variety of mission simulations.

Space missions

After years of intensive training, astronauts can finally go to space as part of a mission.

Scientific experiments

Experiments conducted on the ISS enable researchers to study the effects of microgravity and apply their findings on Earth.


Astronauts must sometimes venture out of the ISS to repair or alter its exterior.

Maintenance of the ISS

The crew on the ISS is responsible for maintaining it as well as operating it.

Communications and public relations

Astronauts are excellent communicators and role models for Canadians of all ages. They travel across Canada to meet the public and the media.