An Astronaut’s Path to Space for CSA

February 17, 2017 | Jesse Ludtke

The Path to Space following Andrew Smith, Gumstix Lead Engineer

Image from © Canadian Space Agency

All of us here at Gumstix are proud to have our very own lead engineer, Andrew Smith, as one of the potential astronauts representing the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), both on Earth and in Space.

Image from © Canadian Space Agency

Out of over 3,772 applicants, Andrew has made the short list of seventy-two candidates to be considered for the two CSA astronaut positions in the next generation of Canada’s space explorers.

What it takes to have the right stuff

Andrew is uniquely qualified for this position. Academically, he has excelled with a bachelors and masters in engineering from Queen’s University and a PH.D., in aeronautics & astronautics from Stanford University. Professionally, he has been designing and building the very hardware that is being used in multiple space, military and industrial projects across the globe. Read Andrew’s full CSA profile here.

What exactly do Canadian Astronauts do?

Since the first team of Canadian astronauts were formed in 1983, there have been 12 recruited astronauts through 3 campaigns, and 8 of these professionals have participated in 16 space missions. Canada’s active astronauts support space missions in progress and prepare for a future mission by taking extensive training. They mainly work at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. However, they return to Canada periodically to participate in various activities and encourage young Canadians to pursue their education in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Andrew’s Next Steps

We look forward to following Andrew as he completes the final tests before the candidates are chosen in August. In the meantime, we will keep you posted on his progress. Last week Andrew was interviewed by CBC News Toronto on his path to space. Listen to what motivates him to pursue the final frontier. His interview starts near the 25-minute mark of the podcast.

Wish Andrew good luck by sharing this post and following his Twitter account @AndrewCSmith32.