Requirements and conditions of employment for astronauts

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is looking for people who want to be part of the next generation of space explorers.

Two individuals will be selected as new members of the Canadian astronaut corps. The CSA is recruiting exceptional people with excellent health; a university education in science, engineering or medicine; and extensive knowledge and experience.

Here are some of the qualities and skills required to be part of the CSA's astronaut corps.

  • Judgment

  • Integrity

  • Reasoning

  • Teamwork

  • Ability to synthesize and communicate using plain language

  • Public speaking

  • Motivation

  • Resourcefulness

Basic requirements

Who can apply

  • Persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad.
    • Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.

Language proficiency

  • French or English (proficiency in both is an asset).


  • Bachelor's degree from a recognized university in one of the following fields:
    • engineering; or
    • science (e.g., physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, computer science);
  • Doctorate in one of the following fields:
    • medicine; or
    • dentistry.

Professional experience

In addition to the educational requirements, applicants must:

  • have at least three years of relevant professional experience;
    • a master's degree is equivalent to one year of professional experience;
    • a doctorate (Ph.D.) is equivalent to three years of professional experience;
  • be licenced to practise medicine in Canada.

Other qualifications

Since astronauts are called upon to perform a variety of scientific and technical work, applicants will be invited to provide information on their:

  • education
  • experience
  • expertise
  • knowledge (e.g., other languages)
  • certifications

Physical and medical requirements

To be considered, applicants must meet very stringent medical requirements and be in excellent health.

Selected applicants will be required to undergo CSA medical examinations, which include the following requirements:

  • Height: Between 149.5 cm and 190.5 cm
  • Weight: Between 50 kg and 95 kg
  • Visual acuity: 20/20 (6/6) or better in each eye, with or without correction.
    • Applicants must not be colour blind.
    • Applicants who have undergone refractive laser surgery (PRK or LASIK) are eligible.
      • The CSA does not recommend that applicants undergo refractive laser surgery for the sole purpose of applying for employment as an astronaut.
      • For those applicants under final consideration, an operative report on the surgical procedure will be requested.
      • Applicants must be free from visual and other complications after undergoing this type of surgery.
  • Blood pressure: Not higher than 140/90 mm Hg, measured in a sitting position.
  • Auditory acuity: Normal hearing (do not suffer from a chronic or recurring auditory condition).

Operational requirements

Frequent travel outside Canada without family, sometimes on short notice and for extended periods of time.

Conditions of employment

  • Secret security clearance.
    • As part of the selection process, security clearance must also be obtained from the governments of the Canadian Space Program partners.
  • Relocation to Houston, Texas, in August 2017.
  • Successful completion of pre-employment medical examinations.
  • Vaccination against communicable diseases, as required.

Explore further

Go to the recruitment section on the Astronauts - FAQ page to find out more about astronauts' salary scale, the type of employment contract given to astronauts, and much more.