A military pilot born in Murrayville is one of 17 candidates to become Canada’s next astronaut.
Jason Leuschen was born in Langley but grew up on his family’s farm in Bruno, Saskatchewan. He said he’s wanted to be an astronaut since he was a kid growing up under the Milky Way and meteor showers visible from his home.
Currently a student pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he is training to fly the CH-149 Cormorant helicopter.
Leuschen said that out of all the places in the Solar System to explore, he would like to go to Mars. A trip to the red planet could help answer questions about the origins of life and give him a chance to dunk a basketball, thanks to its lower gravity.
The astronaut recruitment campaign has been launched by the Canadian Space Agency. The selection of the new astronauts is expected this summer, with the successful candidates relocating to Houston, Texas in August for NASA basic training.