The first astronaut will head into space no later than 2019, the second by 2024, Industry Minister James Moore is scheduled to announce Tuesday.
The last Canadian astronaut who blasted off into space was Chris Hadfield, who spent five months on the International Space Station, returning to earth in May 2013.
The spots for the Canadian astronauts are opening up because Canada has agreed to make a new financial contribution to the International Space Station, the details of which are expected to be announced tomorrow.
A senior government source says the funding was possible because “the government balanced the budget,” freeing up resources for contributions to the International Space Station and future space missions.
With tomorrow’s announcement, Canada will become the third country to announce its participation in the Space Station to the year 2024.