Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk smiles as he arrival at the Star City, outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009. The Canadian Space Agency wants to hire former astronaut Thirsk to help it figure out how to contribute medical expertise to a human mission to Mars. (Misha Japaridze/The Canadian Press)

Ex-astronaut Thirsk to help define Canada’s place in Mars mission

Canadian Space Agency says former astronaut Robert Thirsk is the only person who fits the bill

The Canadian Space Agency says it wants to hire former astronaut Robert Thirsk to help it figure out how to contribute medical expertise to a human mission to Mars.

Thirsk is a medical doctor who holds the Canadian record for time spent in space, thanks to an extended mission on the International Space Station in 2009.

Those are two of the qualifications the space agency considers essential for the $95,000 contract it is making public today, saying Thirsk is the only person on Earth who fits the bill.

The job involves spending the next two years determining what Canadian scientists and health experts can do to help astronauts beyond low Earth orbit, and selling the public on the benefits of investing in space-health science.

Long space missions degrade astronauts’ muscles and bones, expose them to radiation and can even damage their senses.

Thirsk led the agency’s expert panel that recommended work on minimizing these dangers should be how Canada helps the human race explore space.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Oily rain runoff down the drain causes concern for Prince Rupert residents

Immediate action taken to alleviate any concerns, road paving contractor said.

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Repaving coming for two sections of Nisga’a Hwy and Hubert St. in Gingolx

Drivers can expect some minor delays and single lane alternating traffic

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Most Read