Astro-not: St. John's professor 'too critical' for Canada's space program

Astro-not: St. John's professor 'too critical' for Canada's space program

A Memorial University of Newfoundland associate professor is no longer in the running to blast off with the Canadian Space Agency, and John Jamieson says his elimination was both a disappointment and a relief.

The marine geologist was short-listed in the search for Canada's next astronaut, but was eliminated after the latest round of testing. 

"It's now down to 32 candidates, and I am not one of them," said Jamieson, who was one of 72 contenders picked from a total of 3,772 people who applied.

Jamieson recently underwent four days of physical, mental and psychological testing at a military facility south of Montreal, and said he knew during that process that the job just wasn't for him.  

"I'm a scientist, I'm a critical thinker, and I think that's one of the reasons I was cut, I'm too critical," Jamieson said Friday. 

"I have a lot of my own ideas, and the job of astronaut is to basically follow orders, which is a reason why military people are so successful in this position." 

Jamieson said he felt a mixture of disappointment and relief after getting the news, which came in the form of a "very nice, polite email" which included the reasons he was not chosen to continue in the process. 

"Their testing was very specific and very geared to the job, and I could see where I didn't do as well as many of the others because it just wasn't right for me," he told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

"I agree with their assessment."

The 72 candidates were split into three groups of 24, where they had to complete tasks such as an underwater obstacle course and tests of leadership and teamwork skills under the watchful eye of observers.

Even though he's no longer in the running, Jamieson has no hard feelings.

"These are 23 of the most incredible people I've ever met, just unbelievable people ... even though I was cut I know that they're going to get some incredibly good people for the job."