Canada's next astronaut?


Western alumnus Francis James Frenzel, BSc'08, is one of 17 individuals who have been shortlisted by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to become Canada’s next astronaut.

The CSA will ultimately select two individuals 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."

Frenzel is currently a pilot-in-training with the Royal Canadian Air Force. When asked why he wants to be an astronaut, he says, "It is inherently human to want to explore and discover the unknown. As powerful as these experiences can be while bound to Earth, it is a profound and beautiful pursuit to push human capabilities into such an exotic and unforgiving environment as space. It truly is 'the final frontier.' I love this country and take pride in serving the nation; what better way to do so than by inspiring the next generation of dreamers?"

Reflecting on this time at Western, Frenzel says, "I completed my undergraduate in both physics and English literature because I believe these disciplines provide a well-rounded educational experience, coupling the most fundamental scientific knowledge with the most profound truths of the human experience."

Learn more about the astronaut candidates and the selection process at