Canadian astronauts list

May 25, 2024
#13 Canadian Space Agency

canada-astronauts-cp-293240Canada's eight astronauts, posing for a photo at the John H. Chapman Space Centre in St. Hubert, Que., in 2003: Back row, left to right, Marc Garneau, Steve MacLean, Julie Payette, Dave Williams; front row, left to right, Roberta Bondar, Chris Hadfield, Robert Thirsk and Bjarni Tryggvason. ((Andre Pichette/Canadian Press))

Nine Canadians have flown into space — eight trained astronauts and one civilian. Canadians have flown on 13 manned NASA missions and two Russian Soyuz missions.

The next Canadian in space will be Chris Hadfield when he launches aboard a Soyuz capsule in December 2012. Hadfield will become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.

Here's a look at what each accomplished in space, and where they are today.

Marc Garneau

Marc Garneau. the first Canadian in space, is now a Liberal MP and the party's science, industry and technology critic. ((Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press))

garneau-cp-3691310Years in space: 1984, 1996, 2000

Hometown: Quebec City

Canada's first astronaut, Garneau was a member of the 1984 Challenger crew and performed a series of experiments, called CANEX, sponsored by the Canadian government.

Garneau returned to orbit in 1996 and 2000 on Endeavour, becoming the only Canadian to make three journeys to space. In 2000, he used the shuttle's Canadarm to install the first four solar panels on the International Space Station. In total, he logged 677 hours in space.

Garneau was president of the Canadian Space Agency from 2001 to 2005. In 2006, he ran unsuccessfully for federal office as a Liberal candidate in the rural Quebec riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges, but won in the downtown Montreal riding of Westmount-Ville-Marie in 2008. He is currently the Liberals' science, industry and technology critic.

Roberta Bondar

BondarPortraitLRat200pxCanadian astronaut Roberta Bondar now keeps a busy schedule giving conferences on space and medicine. (Courtesy Roberta Bondar)

Year in space: 1992

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Neurologist Bondar became Canada's first woman in space when she flew on the shuttle Discovery on Jan. 22, 1992. Bondar performed research into the effects of microgravity, lower body pressure and various pathological states on blood flow to the brain. She retired from the Canadian Space Agency later that year to continue her research while pursuing other ventures, including public speaking and photography. She served as chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., from 2003 to 2009.

Steve MacLean

Former astronaut Steve MacLean addresses a news conference after being named the new head of the Canadian Space Agency. ((Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press))

Years in space: 1992, 2006

Hometown: Ottawa

Laser physicist MacLean began astronaut training in 1984 and was scheduled to first go into space aboard Atlantis in 1987. That mission was cancelled after the Challenger disaster.

maclean-cp-5438837MacLean first flew aboard space shuttle Columbia in 1992, when he performed a set of experiments called CANEX-2. Among those experiments was the Space Vision System, an experimental machine vision system to help astronauts guide robotic devices, such as the Canadarm.

MacLean was the project manager for designing similar "eyes" for both the shuttle's Canadarm and the International Space Station's Canadarm 2.

MacLean was set to go into orbit again in 2003 aboard Endeavour until the shuttle fleet was grounded after Columbia broke into pieces on Feb. 1 of that year, killing all seven astronauts aboard. He returned to space in 2006 aboard Atlantis as a member of the first space-station assembly mission since the Columbia disaster. He became the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm 2 in orbit and performed a seven-hour spacewalk to activate the station's solar panels.

MacLean was appointed president of the Canadian Space Agency in September 2008.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield pilots a tiny, one-person submarine in Pavilion Lake near Lillooet, B.C., in July 2010. Hadfield collected rock samples and took photos and videos of the unusual rock formations, called microbialites, deep beneath the lake's surface. ((Pavilion Lake Research Project) )

Chris Hadfield

Years in space: 1995, 2001

Hometown: Born in Sarnia, Ont., raised in Milton, Ont.

Veteran test pilot Hadfield made his first shuttle flight aboard Atlantis, becoming the first and only Canadian to board the Russian space station Mir. Hadfield returned to space on April 20, 2001, to make history by becoming Canada's first astronaut to walk in space. His second spacewalk of that mission took seven hours and 40 minutes to make repairs to the space station. He also became the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm 2 in space. Hadfield later told CBC News that conducting a spacewalk was a gruelling physical ordeal.

"If you could picture it, you first put on a suit of armour and then go jump in a lake and then perform the task. That's what it is like. You have to be strong and fit, " he said.

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