Press Release

Celebrating 20 years of Canadians in Space

By SpaceRef Editor
October 6, 2004
Filed under ,
Celebrating 20 years of Canadians in Space

Vancouver, B.-C., October 6, 2004 – A Canadian space milestone was
commemorated today when Dr. Marc Garneau, President of the Canadian Space
Agency, was joined by Chief Astronaut Julie Payette, Astronauts Chris
Hadfield and Bjarni Tryggvason, Vancouver students, and numerous dignitaries
at the H. R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver. Twenty years ago, on
October 5, 1984, all eyes in Canada were drawn the launch and pride swelled,
as Marc Garneau became the first Canadian to lift off and travel into space.

Since then, eight Canadian astronauts have participated in 11 space
missions. Many Canadian space milestones have been recorded over the past
two decades including, Roberta Bondar, in 1992, who became the first
Canadian woman to experience microgravity. In 1995, Chris Hadfield, visited
the Russian Space Station Mir, manoeuvring the renowned Canadarm to install
a module that would make docking on Mir easier for American Shuttle
spacecraft. In 1998, Dr. Dave Williams took part in a Neurolab space flight
to study the effects of microgravity and long-duration space flight on the
human brain. Julie Payette visited the International Space Station in 1999,
becoming the first Canadian to set foot inside this incredible floating
laboratory being built by Canada and 14 other countries. Dr. Marc Garneau
flew his third space mission in 2000 for a total lifetime record of 677
hours in space. And in 2001, Chris Hadfield returned to space to take
Canada’s first spacewalk and install Canadarm2. This was a proud moment for
Canada and Canadians when our maple leaf floated in space, 400 km above

“Sometimes I can’t believe it’s been 20 years!” said Marc Garneau, President
of the Canadian Space Agency and first Canadian to travel to space. “But I
am extremely proud of all that Canada has accomplished in this short time.
We have positioned ourselves as leaders in niche markets such as robotics,
Earth observation, and telecommunications. Our astronauts, engineers and
scientists, all share that drive, that sense of excitement about space and
the boundless opportunity it offers. I am very pleased with our
accomplishments as a nation, and I’m excited by the possibilities as we look
forward to the next 20 years!”

Space flight was once only a dream for young Canadian stargazers; now it’s
an opportunity. Canadian astronauts, engineers, scientists, researchers, and
space-industry leaders share the belief that science and technology
breakthroughs will advance our understanding of the planet, the universe and
our place in it. As dedicated professionals, these exceptional Canadians are
collaborating to continue to achieve global recognition for Canada’s leading
space science, technological excellence and expertise.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989 and with its headquarters situated in Longueuil, Quebec,
the Canadian Space Agency is responsible for coordinating all civil,
space-related policies and programs related to science and technology
research, industrial development, and international cooperation on behalf of
the Government of Canada. The Canadian Space Agency directs its resources
and activities through four key thrusts: Earth Observation, Space Science
and Exploration, Satellite Communications, and Space Awareness and Learning.
With the overall responsibility for advancing Canada’s space policy and
programs, the Canadian Space Agency leverages international cooperation to
champion world-class scientific research and industrial development for the
benefit of humanity.

For more on the 20th anniversary and the Canadian Space Program, visit or contact:

Carole Duval

Media Relations, Canadian Space Agency

Media line: (450) 926-4370

Direct line: (450) 926-4972


Subscribe to the Canadian Space Agency News Room and receive by e-mail, on a
regular basis, the latest news on the Canadian Space Program. To subscribe,

Julie Simard

Conseillère en communications, Relations médias /Communications Advisor,

Media Relations

6767, route de l’Aéroport, St-Hubert (Québec) J3Y 8Y9

Tél.: (450) 926-6651

Fax (450) 926-4352

Cell.: (514) 241-3327

SpaceRef staff editor.