“When I think back about my childhood days I remember being very curious and wanting to explore all the time,” recalls Canadian Space Agency astronaut Joshua Kutryk.

Now 37 years old and fully immersed in training to fly one day to space, he finds CAVES appealing to his intrinsic curiosity and desire to explore.

“I am always seeking new experiences. I think they make us better,” he says after confessing that he has never been to a cave before. A keen climber and mountaineer, Joshua is eager to use his technical skills underground. 

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Joshua Kutryk. Credits: CSA

This will be his first big opportunity to work with astronauts from all the International Space Station partners. “I want to leave the expedition with solid and good relationships with the representatives of the other agencies,” he says.

Joshua describes himself as an optimistic and confident crew mate, and believes that one of the most challenging parts of long duration space exploration is not necessarily the technical aspect, but the group dynamics.

“To work smoothly as a team in such a confined, extreme space is not trivial. Challenging group dynamics need to be worked on and developed over time. I certainly believe that an expedition like CAVES will help me to prepare for space,” he says.

Joshua Kutryk in training. Credits: CSA/Chris Ringius

Astronauts in space operate under risky conditions in a demanding environment. “The combination of risk and challenge has always excited me. The cave training will help us reassure ourselves and be aware that any mistake can have great consequences,” adds the Canadian astronaut.

Joshua passionately faces this new cave experience. As he likes to put it, “learn about the world so that you may play a part in making it better.”

Find more about Joshua in this biography