I don’t know whether the Canadian Space Agency has its own Latin motto, but it deserves one. So with the help of my old Latin grammar text, I’ve created a motto for CSA, just in case: Per scientiam, consilium et animum, ambulabimus inter astra
All 12 of the Canadians chosen from about 15,000 applicants since our astronaut programme began in 1983 are highly educated, multi-talented, innovative, inspired and courageous individuals. They have committed themselves to primary research that will not only contribute to the safety and diversity of future missions, but which will also benefit all humankind, especially through their contributions to technological and medical knowledge. In addition, their space station teamwork experience exemplifies how people of different nationalities can work harmoniously together in a universe that belongs to us all.
We started with six recruits in 1983, added four in 1992, and two in 2009. At present, due to attrition and the reassignment of astronaut Dr. Steve MacLean (Physics) to president of the Canadian Space Agency, we have only three active astronaut veterans of spaceflight and two relatively new candidates in intensive training.
In 1984, Mark Garneau, former armed forces officer with a doctorate in electrical engineering, was Canada’s first astronaut in space. Second, in 1992, was neurologist, clinical researcher, professor and professional photographer, Roberta Bondar, also our first female astronaut. Canada’s second woman in space, Julie Payette, was the first Canadian to participate in the International Space Station. A singer and pianist with degrees in electrical and computer engineering, Julie was a Mission Specialist on the space shuttle Discovery in 1999 and flight engineer in 2009 on the Endeavour. Chris Hadfield, currently on his third mission, is a mechanical engineer, trained fighter pilot and former Airforce Colonel, with a post graduate degree in Aviation Systems Science. He is also the first Canadian to command the ISS.
Next week I will write more about Canada’s space programme and the 12 admirable men and women whose involvement with it has been inspiring us for 30 years.
Jacqueline Warlow, a retired educator, lives in Dartmouth. Mother of three and grandmother of six, she is a freelance writer and a “People With Tales” storyteller.