Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 05, 2009 15:39 ET

Minister Clement Commemorates 25 Years of Canadians in Space

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2009) - Today, at a ceremony on Parliament Hill, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), commemorated the 25th anniversary of Canada's first astronaut in space.

The launch on October 5, 1984, was truly an extraordinary moment in Canadian history that marked the beginning of a great adventure for Canadians in space.

"Today's anniversary celebrates the efforts and accomplishments not only of our astronauts but also of our engineers, our scientists, our astronomers and many others," said Minister Clement. "All Canadians can take pride in the remarkable advances in space technology and space robotics that our country has made over the past quarter century."

CSA astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk recorded the following message from the International Space Station for this very special celebration.

"Twenty-five years - a quarter of a century - ago, Marc Garneau blasted off aboard a space shuttle, becoming the first Canadian to fly into space. I remember that liftoff vividly. I should because I trained as his backup on that historic mission," said Dr. Thirsk. "Twenty-five years later, we've come full circle. Now I'm speaking to you from the International Space Station, honoured to celebrate our group's achievements."

Canada has a long list of talented and highly skilled Canadians working in space disciplines whose work ensures that our country remains a strong player in the worldwide space community.

Past missions:

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

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

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

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

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

- Robert Thirsk, Mission STS-78, June 20 to July 7, 1996, Space Shuttle Columbia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Current mission:

- Robert Thirsk, Expedition 20/21, May 2009, Soyuz spacecraft, living and working onboard the International Space Station, return expected November 23, 2009

Current members of the Canadian Astronaut Corps:

- Chris Hadfield

- Jeremy Hansen

- Julie Payette

- David Saint-Jacques

- Robert Thirsk

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Minister of Industry
    Lynn Meahan - Press Secretary
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502