Canada Celebrates 25 Year of Human Presence in Space

On October 5, 1984 astronaut Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space as he was aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on STS-41G. A quarter of a century later another 8 Canadians have flown into space for a total of 16 flights including the current mission by space participant Guy Lalibert.
Canada’s newest astronauts Jeremy Hansen and David St-Jacques are undergoing training and have yet to be assigned to future missions.


List of space missions with a Canadian onboard:
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.
– Space Participant (Tourist) Guy Lalibert, October 2 to October 10, 2009, Soyuz spacecraft
Guy Lalibert is the founder of Cirque du Soleil and the One Drop Foundation launched on the Russian Soyuz TMA-16 rocket on Wednesday, September 30th at 3:14 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur launch complex in Kazakhstan. Lalibert will become Canada’s first private space explorer.
Lalibert has dubbed his mission a Poetic Social Mission in Space. Lalibert is using the opportunity to share information and raise awareness about water-related issues with the world. His messages will spread the One Drop Foundation dream of “Water for all, all for water.”

About Marc Boucher

Marc Boucher
Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceRef Canada Interactive Inc, CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef U.S., advisor and co-founder of the Canadian Space Commerce Association, and director and co-founder of MaxQ Accelerator Inc. Previously he was the founder of Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine which he sold.

Check Also

Government Budget 2012

In the Absence of Government Leadership Canada’s Space Sector Faces Uncertain Future – Space Quarterly Archives

Continuing with our Summer Reading Series of articles or interviews that still have some relevance today, we …