Jenni Gibbons learns to fly a helicopter with the Royal Canadian Air Force

Canadian Space Agency

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Jenni Gibbons flying a Bell412 training. (Credit: 2Lt Jesse Starko, 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School)


From June 10 to 14, 2024, CSA astronaut Jenni Gibbons took part in helicopter training with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) at 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. This collaboration will enable Jenni, the Canadian backup astronaut for Artemis II, to participate in advanced helicopter training with NASA as part of the Artemis program. This training is important for preparing astronauts for the complexities of lunar landings, offering significant crossover in the cognitive and physical skills required. Fellow CSA astronaut Col. Jeremy Hansen, who is part of the prime crew of Artemis II, did similar training with the RCAF a few years ago.

CSA astronaut Jenni Gibbons talking to students and staff of 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School. (Credit: 2Lt Jesse Starko, 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School)

The RCAF instructors provided Jenni and Jeremy with ground instructions and hands-on experience flying the Bell 412CF training aircraft, similar to the CH-146 Griffon used by the RCAF for tactical, special operations, and search and rescue missions.

This partnership between the CSA and the RCAF showcases the versatility and expertise of the Canadian Armed Forces and underscores Canada's commitment to space exploration and its vital role in supporting international missions to the Moon and beyond.

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Published: 2024-06-18 23:23