Ground Control to Richard Federley

A UBCO chemistry professor is a step closer to becoming an astronaut. 

Out of 3,700 applicants, Richard Federley has made it to a group of 32 - eventually two will be chosen by the Canadian Space Agency.

Federley told AM 1150's 'Early Edition' he began to think he might have a chance as he was checking off box after box on the application. 

"By the time I was done I thought I might have a shot of making it into the top one thousand. As a really hopeful expectation, I wasn't really truly expecting it, but I felt that if there was ever a point in my life that I would have a shot at this, it might be now, " he said. 

Federley teaches general chemistry, environmental atmospheric chemistry and environmental aqueous chemistry. He said he loves the idea that being an astronaut would place him at the forefront of scientific exploration.

"How our bodies adjust to mico gravity, how matter behaves, test and really develop all these new technologies that will hopefully have some sort of societal and economic benefit for Canadians. All these areas are so interesting for us as Canadians, and I think everyone is just drawn to them, and would love to learn more about them," said Federley   

The final two candidates will be announced this summer and will head to Houston for NASA basic training.