Unidentified Male 1: Marc (ph) here. Rather busy up there. Are you getting much time just to gaze out the window and wonder at the wonder of it all?
Marc Garneau: Yeah, actually I'm getting all the time I can. In fact, every time we go over Canada, I'm generally stuck at the window having a look out there, and it's absolutely fantastic.
David Saint-Jacques: For the fourth time in history, Canada has found exceptional people ready to push the boundaries of science, innovation, and space exploration. Hi. I'm David Saint-Jacques. For two months in the summer of 2016, the Canadian Space Agency held an open call for two new astronauts. More than 3,700 Canadians from across the country and abroad applied for a chance to represent Canada's future in space. Over the next six months the strongest contenders were chosen through a rigorous screening process. The first round of selections is complete, and 72 candidates have been chosen.
Unidentified Male 3: Welcome to the exercise called Water "Bourne". This water-based physical fitness session -
David Saint-Jacques: These talented individuals with unique backgrounds will spend the rest of a year-long process under close scrutiny.
Unidentified Male 4: Keep going, keep going, keep going.
Unidentified Female 1: Come on, come on, come on.
David Saint-Jacques: The goal of these intense evaluations is to determine which candidates have the right skills and character to become the Canadian Space Agency's next astronauts.
Unidentified Male 5: Some of the information your group has is irrelevant and will not help you solve this problem.
Unidentified Female 2: So one's going to be heavier, one's going to be lighter. Oh, no, sorry.
Unidentified Male 6: So four ball--four balls on each side?
Unidentified Male 7: The defective one's on the heavier side.
David Saint-Jacques: Astronauts need skills like critical reasoning and resourcefulness.
Unidentified Male 8: Hey, is there a better way to do this, now that we're starting over?
David Saint-Jacques: Abilities like strong motivation and teamwork.
Unidentified Male 9: Come on, guys.
David Saint-Jacques: And they need qualities like integrity and good judgment.
Unidentified Male 10: Go!
David Saint-Jacques: It's an arduous selection process that can take its toll. I remember personally when I went through this part of the selection process myself, realizing that, at every test, there were obviously other candidates outdoing me. I would tell myself don't let that feeling discourage you. They're looking at the big picture here. They're looking for candidates with a strong but overall balanced performance.
These candidates, they're probably wondering why are they pushing us to our mental and physical limits like this. The answer is simple. Once you're drained, once you've had enough, and all you wish for is a break, that's when the actual real test begins.
As the next round of selections approaches, the testing will intensify and the candidates will be pushed beyond their limits. In the end, only two will be chosen as the next generation of Canadian astronauts.