Linda Klocokova, a grade 10 student at Burlington’s Assumption Catholic Secondary School is one of 52 young Canadians from across the country who will virtually join astronauts, engineers and scientists from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for an exciting week of space training.
The participants were selected through a random draw from a pool of eligible candidates who had previously completed online Junior Astronauts activities in three streams – science and technology, fitness and nutrition, and teamwork and communication – which represent the different types of knowledge and skills needed by astronauts. The plan was to have the youngsters get the training at the Space Agency headquarters in Montreal but COVID forced a change in plans to a virtual event.
The young space enthusiasts will be challenged through a series of activities, from operating a real rover during a simulated Moon mission, to solving Earth problems using satellite imagery and working out with astronauts and space fitness experts. The camp will offer them a unique chance to learn about space careers as well as the scientific, physical and leadership qualities they will need to develop if they strive to participate to a future mission to the Moon.
In response to a questionnaire Linda listed her top three dream jobs as first-Astronaut, second- Working at Mission Control and third-Running simulated Mars or Moon missions
She told organizers, “my biggest dream is going to space. Ever since I was young, I have always found it fascinating and the technology incredible, and have always wanted to be a part of the exploration of space.”
Linda plays guitar, is on a rock-climbing team, and likes to mountain bike, read, and draw. Asked If you could pick one place to explore in our solar system, where would you go? She replied, “I would go to Venus because of the interesting conditions, like the heat, wind, atmosphere, and landscape.”
The winners include:
27 girls; 25 boys
nine participants from Northern Canada
18 participants from Western Canada
25 participants from Eastern Canada (including six francophones from three provinces)
Junior Astronauts activities are geared towards kids in grades 6 to 9 (Grade 6 to Secondary 3 in Quebec). They were designed to be run by schools or youth organizations.
The Junior Astronauts campaign was first announced by the Prime Minister of Canada in February 2019.