Canadian Space Agency

Canadian Space Agency

October 01, 2009 12:28 ET

Media Advisory: 25 Years of Canadians in Space

LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2009) - On October 5, 2009, Canada will celebrate 25 years of human presence in space. A quarter of a century ago, U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off in the early morning sky from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida with Canadian astronaut Marc Garneau aboard. Since this madden space flight, Canada has an impressive track record of 14 shuttle missions and even a long duration mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Canadian astronauts have taken part in numerous scientific experiments and given a helping hand in assembling the ISS. Three Canadians have performed spacewalks and one is breaking a Canadian record for the longest mission ever as he will be in space for a 6-month stay. In 2009, Canada added two new recruits to its already well respected and experienced astronaut corps.

List of Space Missions with a Canadian onboard (chronologically):

  • Marc Garneau, Mission STS-41-G, October 5-13 1984, Space Shuttle Challenger

Marc Garneau became the very first Canadian ever to fly to space. As payload specialist, Marc Garneau conducted 10 experiments in three main categories: space technology, space science and life sciences.

  • Roberta Bondar, Mission STS-42, January 22 to 30 1992, Space Shuttle Discovery

Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman astronaut to take part in a space mission when she participated in the first International Microgravity Laboratory mission.

  • Steve MacLean, Mission STS-52, October 22 to November 1st 1992, Space Shuttle Columbia

As Payload Specialist, Steve MacLean performed a set of seven experiments known as CANEX-2, which included an evaluation of the Space Vision System.

  • Chris Hadfield, Mission STS-74, November 12 to 20 1995, Space Shuttle Atlantis

First and only Canadian astronaut onboard the Russian Space Station Mir, Chris Hadfield, as Mission Specialist, had some key responsibilities during the launch procedures and during the flight as the main operator of the shuttle's Canadarm. A mission milestone was when Chris Hadfield flew the Canadarm installing the U.S. Docking module onto the Russian space station MIR.

  • Marc Garneau, Mission STS-77, May 19 to 29 1996, Space Shuttle Endeavour

For his second mission, astronaut Marc Garneau performed numerous scientific experiments during this flight: the Commercial Float Zone Furnace (CFZF), the Aquatic Research Facility (ARF), the Nanocrystal Get Away Special (NANO-GAS) and the Atlantic Canada Thin Organic Semiconductors (ACTORS).

  • Robert Thirsk, Mission STS-78, June 20 to July 7 1997, Space Shuttle Columbia

For his first flight, astronaut Robert Thirsk actively participated in the diverse slate of life and microgravity experiments, a total of 41 in all, conducted on board the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS). This was a 17-day mission, the longest thus far for a Canadian.

  • Bjarni Tryggyason, Mission STS-85, August 7 to 19 1997, Space Shuttle Discovery

Bjarni Tryggvason's primary role was to test the Microgravity Isolation Mount (MIM), a unique Canadian development that improves the microgravity environment for experimenters who use spacecraft such as Mir or the Space Shuttle.

  • Dave Williams, Mission STS-90, April 17 to May 3 1998, Space Shuttle Columbia

During the 16-day flight, called Neurolab, the seven-person crew served as both experiment subjects and operators for 26 individual life science experiments. These experiments, dedicated to the advancement of neuroscience research, focused on the effects of microgravity on the brain and the nervous system.

  • Julie Payette, Mission STS-96, May 27 to June 6 1999, Space Shuttle Discovery

Astronaut Julie Payette became the first Canadian to go aboard the International
Space Station. During the mission, the crew performed the first manual docking of the Shuttle to the Station, and delivered four tons of supplies. Julie Payette served as a mission specialist, was responsible for the Station systems, supervised the space walk and operated the Canadarm robotic arm.

  • Marc Garneau, Mission STS-97, November 30 to December 11 2000, Space Shuttle Endeavour

Marc Garneau and his fellow crew members installed the first of four pairs of huge solar power arrays on the Station. This was Garneau's third and last mission.

  • Chris Hadfield, Mission STS-100, April 19 to May 1st 2001, Space Shuttle Endeavour

On April 19, 2001, Canadians watched a historic event take place. For the first time in space history, a Canadian astronaut performed an Extravehicular Activity (EVA)! Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield was the lead spacewalker who helped to install Canadarm2.

  • Steve MacLean, STS-115, September 9 to 21 2006, Space Shuttle Atlantis

During these 12 days in space, astronaut Steve MacLean and his crewmates successfully resumed the assembly of the International Space Station. They delivered and installed the new truss segments and solar arrays, doubling the power capacity of the orbiting laboratory.

During this mission, Steve MacLean became the first Canadian to operate Canadarm2 in space and the second Canadian to perform a spacewalk.

  • Dave Williams, Mission STS-118, August 8 to 21 2007, Space Shuttle Endeavour

During the mission, the crew successfully added a truss segment, a new gyroscope and an external stowage platform to the Station. The mission successfully activated a new system that enables docked Shuttles to draw electrical power from the Station to extend visits to the outpost. Williams took part in three of the four spacewalks.

  • Julie Payette, Mission STS-127, July 15 to 31 2009, Space Shuttle Endeavour

During this mission, the crew completed the construction of the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module, installed scientific experiments on its Exposed Facility and delivered critical spare parts and replacement batteries to the orbital complex. Robotics technology was used almost every day and Julie Payette operated all three robotic arms – the Canadarm, the Canadarm2, and a special-purpose Japanese arm on Kibo. While the Shuttle was docked to the ISS, the mission featured a record 13 astronauts from 5 different nationalities together on board a single joint spacecraft. It also highlighted the first time two Canadians were in space at the same time as Julie Payette met with her colleague Robert Thirsk, which was onboard the ISS for a 6-month stay.

  • Bob Thirsk, Expedition 20/21, May 27 to November 23, 2009, Soyuz spacecraft

This Expedition represents a milestone for the Canadian Space Program since it is the first time a Canadian takes part in a long duration mission. Robert Thirsk will be expanding the boundaries of space exploration by living and working onboard the International Space Station for six months.

For details on the missions, visit the Canadian Space Agency's website at . You may also contact the Media Relations' Office to schedule interviews with CSA astronauts.

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