Canada's Astronaut Program was established in 1983 after the United States invited Canada to fly an astronaut on board a Space Shuttle mission. This invitation led to the creation of a permanent corps of Canadian astronauts to coordinate and conduct Canadian experiments in space.
Since that time, Canada has sent eight of its 10 astronauts into space as part of the U.S. space program on nine Space Shuttle flights. Dr. Marc Garneau has 3 missions to his credit.
Col. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian Astronaut to set foot on the Russian space station MIR, had his second flight on STS-100. Col. Hadfield became the first Canadian to space walk (EVA) during the delivery and installation the new Canadarm (SSRMS) onto the ISS.
On his third flight to the ISS he stayed for 5 months, during which he became the first Canadian to command the ISS.
Canada has its own astronaut training program (The Canadian Space Agency) and also trains in the United States with NASA. The CSA has established a Space Camp to encourage young Canadians to seek future employment as astronauts.
Canada continues to play a significant part on the new International Space Station 'Alpha' now under construction 240 miles above earth, by 16 member nations. Canadian astronauts assisted in the building of the station componants and take part in missions to deliver and install materials and supplies to the space station. The Space Station was completed in 2010.
Canadian AstronautsCanadian astronauts are categorized as either Payload Specialists or Mission Specialists. They are not trained for the position of space shuttle pilots. U.S/NASA pilots actually fly the Shuttle on each mission.
Payload Specialists are astronauts whose major responsibility is to conduct experiments on board the Space Shuttle. They receive intensive scientific training as well as "basic" training in the operation of orbiter systems.
Mission Specialists also operate experiment apparatus. However, their prime responsibility is the operation of orbiter systems including the CanadArm. They are also trained for Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) or "Space Walks". All Canadian Astronauts are now trained as Mission Specialists.
A Canadian invention, the Canadarm or SSRMS, has gone into space with every STS Shuttle mission since 1981 and is a valuable tool for working in outer space and with the satellite launches and recovery from the Space Shuttle, as well as during recent major repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope.
PHOTO GALLERY OF
|STS-41G||Canada's first astronaut, Dr. Marc Garneau, flew as Payload Specialist on this mission in October, 1984. He conducted a suite of Canadian experiments known as CANEX-1 covering space science, space technology and life sciences.|
|STS-42||Astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar flew as Payload Specialist on this mission, dubbed the First International Microgravity Lab (IML-1) in January 1992. Astronaut Bondar conducted experiments on space physiology and materials sciences during the mission. She has now retired from the astronaut programme.|
|STS-52||Dr. Steve MacLean flew this mission as Payload Specialist in October, 1992. He conducted the CANEX-2 set of experiments. The main component of CANEX-2 was the evaluation of the Space Vision System for the Shuttle remote manipulator system.|
|STS-74||Major (now Col.) Chris Hadfield was selected in September 1994 for this flight in November, 1995. The mission performed a rendezvous and docking with the MIR Space Station. Major Hadfield was the first Canadian Mission Specialist. The mission also included a test of the Advanced Space Vision System.|
|STS-77||Dr. Marc Garneau was selected in June, 1995 as Mission Specialist for STS-77, launched May 19th, 1996. A number of Canadian experiments were flown on board and in "Get-Away" special containers.|
|STS-78||Dr. Robert Thirsk was Payload Specialist on this life and microgravity sciences mission, launched in June of 1996. Some of his experiments included mass measurement in space, muscle and bone adaptation to microgravity, sleep/wake cycles in space and how they affect the brain's performance. Dr. Thirsk was also involved in studying the problem of "space sickness!"|
|STS-85||Bjarni Tryggvason flew as Payload Specialist during STS-85, launched in August of 1997. Astronaut Tryggvason was the principal investigator for his own invention, the Microgravity Vibration Isolation Mount (MIM).|
|STS-90||Dr. Dave Williams became Canada's seventh astronaut to fly a mission during STS-90, launched in April of 1998. Astronaut Williams was the first Canadian Crew Medical Officer for a shuttle mission. This mission was also known as Neurolab; a mission dedicated to the study of life sciences.|
|STS-96||Capt. Julie Payette became Canada's second woman in space on this mission to supply the Space Station for future construction. A number of Canadian experiments were also conducted and Astronaut Payette handled the Canadarm with great skill and dextarity during the mission.|
|STS-97||Dr. Marc Garneau flew his 3rd space mission in Nov/2000. He served as Flight Engineer during the flight of the Shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station. While docked at the ISS, he operated the Shuttle's CanadArm and installed 6 large solar panels on the Station, as well as delivering provisions to the resident crew. Garneau becomes the first Canadian Astronaut to enter the ISS.|
|STS-100||Col. Chris Hadfield aboard STS-100, flew his second mission on April 19, 2001. The primary purpose of the flight was to deliver and install the new Canadarm2 robotic arm (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), as well as an Italian-made resupply Logistics Module. During the flight three spacewalks (EVA) took place, which made Chris Hadfield the first Canadian to leave a spacecraft and float free in space.|
|STS-115||Dr. Steve MacLean
visited the International Space Station as a crew member of STS-115 aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. MacLean participated in two of four extravehicular activities (spacewalks), making him the second Canadian to walk in space. MacLean became the first Canadian to operate Canadarm2 when the crew added trusses to the Station and deployed new solar array panels.|
|STS-118||Dr. Dave Williams August 8, 2007 - Flight STS-118 was his second mission to deliver additional truss segments and solar panels to the International Space Station. He took 3 extravehicular activities (spacewalks), setting 2 new new records for Canadians in space..|
|TMA-15||Dr. Robert Thirsk May 27, 2009 - became the first Canadian to launch aboard a Russian Soyuz vehicle to the ISS. He remained on the Space Station for 6 months, and returned in November 2009 via the same Soyuz rocket.|
|STS-127||Capt. Julie Payette July 15, 2009 - flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour for mission STS-127, launched July 15, 2009. During the mission, the crew delivered to the ISS and installed the Kibo Japanese Experiment Laboratory. This is Julie Payette's second mission in space and onboard the International Space Station. She joined fellow Canadian Bob Thirsk onboard ISS for a several days. The astronaut crew also delivered critical supplies to the Station, as well as experiments that will be subsequently berthed to the Kibo platform.|
|Mission 34/35||Commander Chris Hadfield Launched December 19, 2012 aboard a Russian Soyuz vehicle to the International Space Station, this was a 5 month Mission for Comm. Hadfield. During his time on the ISS he took and tweeted many excellent photos of the earth from space. He also had several chats with school children in Canada. He took command of the ISS and is the first Canadian fill that position. He returned to earth on May 13, 2013 on the space vehicle.|
Marc Garneau is a veteran of three space shuttle flights, and has logged over 677 hours in space. He flew aboard the shuttle Challenger in 1984, and aboard Endeavour in 1996 and 2000. He holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, and is an officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Garneau was installed as the ninth chancellor of Carleton University in 2003..
Roberta Bondar is a medical doctor with a Ph.D. in neurobiology. She was the first neurologist and the first Canadian woman in space, aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1992, where she worked on the International Microgravity Laboratory. She is an officer of the Order of Canada and, for her pioneering space research, has been elected to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Steve MacLean flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1992, where he tested the Canadian Space Vision System, a computerized eye for robotic devices like the Canadarm. He has a doctorate in physics. He is President of the Canadian Space Agency and remains with active astronaut status with NASA.
Chris Hadfield, an engineer and accomplished test pilot, is the only Canadian to have visited the Russian space station Mir, which he boarded from the space shuttle Atlantis in 1995. He flew aboard Endeavour in 2001, and became the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk while installing Canadarm2 on the International Space Station.
Robert Thirsk, an engineer and medical doctor, flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1996 to perform a series of experiments on microgravity and life sciences in the shuttle's Spacelab module. His 17-day mission was the longest for a Canadian astronaut.
Bjarni Tryggvason flew aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1997. Trained in engineering physics and applied mathematics, he conducted tests in space on the Canadian Microgravity Vibration Mount, an instrument he designed to counter the effects of spacecraft vibrations on fluid science experiments.
Dave Williams is a medical doctor specializing in neurophysiology and emergency medicine. He flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1998 for the Neurolab mission, in which the crew did experiments to study the effects of microgravity on the brain and nervous system. He was the first Canadian to be awarded the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2002.
Julie Payette is an electrical engineer specializing in computer engineering. On a ten-day mission to dock the space shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station in 1999, she operated the Canadarm while in orbit and became the first Canadian to actually board the International Space Station. She is currently Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.