Canada's new astronauts take tips from veterans in space

Canada's two new astronaut recruits chat with the astronauts currently aboard the space station and speak publicly for the last time before dedicating themselves to two years of intensive basic training. Watch LIVE starting 12:45 p.m. ET.

Jennifer Sidey and Joshua Kutryk head to Johnson Space Center for basic training

Canada's two new astronaut recruits will get a chance to pick the brains of the experienced astronauts currently working aboard the space station today. They'll also speak publicly for the last time before heading for two years of intensive basic training at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Joshua Kutryk, 35, of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and Jennifer (Jenni) Sidey, 29, of Calgary, will join 12 NASA astronaut candidates for a live chat with the astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station, the crew of NASA's Expedition 52, followed by a news conference. The event will be streamed live starting 12:45 p.m. ET

The Canadian Space Agency's two newest astronaut candidates were named by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 1 as the country marked its 150th birthday.

They won't officially be astronauts until they complete their basic training, which includes flight training, parachute jumps, survival training, space operations and procedures, robotics and Russian language classes, along with lessons on less specialized skills such as media relations, first aid, and photography.

Part of their basic training will take place in Houston and part of it at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Que.

Sidey was previously a lecturer with the University of Cambridge who has worked as a mechanical engineer, while Kutryk was an air force pilot with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and a master's degree in defence studies.

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