tp-robertthirsk

Longtime Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk says it is time to move over and make room for the country's two newest astronauts, Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques. ((University of Calgary))

Veteran Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk won't be leaving Earth anymore.

Thirsk has decided that his six-month visit to the International Space Station last year was his last trip into space.

The 57-year-old astronaut, who was born in New Westminster, B.C., was one of the six original Canadian astronauts selected in 1983.

Thirsk told The Canadian Press during a visit to McGill University that it is time to make room for the country's two newest astronauts, Jeremy Hansen and David Saint-Jacques. The two were picked in May 2009 from more than 5,300 applications and are undergoing training.

Thirsk spent 188 days on the space station last year — the longest time a Canadian astronaut has ever been in space.

He made his comments Sunday when he and Dave Williams, a retired astronaut, dropped in for a visit to McGill, their alma mater.