Canadian Space Agency narrows astronaut candidates to 32

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has narrowed its search for the next Canadian astronauts from 72 down to 32.

The space agency announced its recruitment campaign on June 17, 2016. Canadians had until Aug. 15 to apply.

The candidates come from a wide range of professions, including test pilots, doctors, a surgeon, a weather research scientist and an astronomer who is working on the James Webb Telescope which will be launched into space in 2018. Of the 32 candidates, 11 are women.

The recruits are required to pass several difficult milestones in the journey to becoming an astronaut, including vigorous physical tests.

The last time the space agency recruited astronauts was in 2008-09. Jeremy Hansen and David St-Jacques were the successful candidates. St-Jacques is scheduled to be the next Canadian in space in November 2018.

The CSA plans to announce the successful candidates this summer.