Robert (Bob) Thirsk, a medical doctor and astronaut with the CSA from 1983 until 2012, holds the Canadian record for the longest space mission: six months in 2009 as a flight engineer on the ISS. Prior to that (1966) he flew as payload specialist aboard the Columbia (LMS Mission). In addition, Bob participated in a 7 person international team that performed 43 life science experiments and he led the a team of international researchers exploring the effect of weightlessness on blood vessels and the heart.
Bjarni Tryggvason, born in Iceland, briefly attended elementary school in NS in the 1950s and piloted a replica of the Silver Dart in Cape Breton in 2009. He is a licensed airline pilot and flight instructor, a meteorologist with two Doctorates, a lecturer of applied mathematics and researcher in industrial aerodynamics. Bjarni flew on the space shuttle, Discovery, and holds 3 patents and several prestigious awards. He is no longer an active astronaut.
Dr. Steve MacLean, a laser physicist, competed with the Canadian National Gymnastics Team in 1976-77. He began astronaut training in 1984 and flew on the space shuttle, Columbia in 1992. and the Atlantis in 2006. He became Chief Science Advisor for the ISS in 1993 and subsequently was Director General of the Canadian Astronaut Programme; Chief Astronaut of the CSA; and in 2008, President of the CSA. Steve was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm 2 in space, as well as the second Canadian to do a spacewalk. (Chris Hadfield was first, in 2001)
Dr. Kenneth Money finished 5th for Canada in high jump in the 1956 Summer Olympics and won the Masters badminton championship in Miami in 1989. He was a jet pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces prior to becoming an astronaut in 1983 and has advanced degrees in physiology. When he left the astronaut programme in 1992, he had achieved a reputation for numerous contributions to science and technology, for which the governor general awarded him the Meritorious Service Cross.
Next week, the other four and a peek into NEEMO and CAVES.
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.