A student at the University of Guelph has been shortlisted by the Canadian Space Agency to become Canada’s next astronaut.

Scott VanBommel, born in Kitchener, is now a PHD candidate in physics.

Nearly four thousand people applied to be Canada’s next astronaut and VanBommel is one of 72 people shortlisted out of 3,772 applicants.

He said making the latest list is a humbling and nerve-wracking experience because there are only two spots to fill.

“This has always been something I have aspired to do,” VanBommel said. “There is nothing else that I see more fulfilling then going into space and contributing to the scientific advancement of mankind.”

The Canadian Space Agency said Canada’s next astronauts must have an academic background in science or technology, excellent health, and outstanding qualities and skills.

They must also be Canadian citizens.

On the shortlist of 72 candidates, five, at one point, studied at the University of Guelph.

VanBommel is the only current student at Guelph vying for a job in space.

Two other women also in the running of becoming Canada’s next top astronaut are from the area – Martha Lenio who was born in Kitchener and Lesha Kolubinski who was born in Guelph.

With reporting from CTV Kitchener's Nadia Matos