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

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Missing Slocan City man found dead

Douglas Morrison went missing in mid-January

Nelson ArtWalk seeking submissions

You have until April 17 to submit your application

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Most Read