Press Release

First Canadian Private Space Explorer Set to Launch on Humanitarian Mission to the International Space Station

By SpaceRef Editor
June 4, 2009
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Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil and the ONE DROP Foundation, will be the first Canadian private space explorer to visit the International Space Station. The announcement was made at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters, with Laliberte speaking from Moscow where he has begun his training.

The Canadian Space Agency salutes Guy Laliberte’s initiative as Canada’s first private space explorer. The Agency will advise Laliberte and he will meet with Canadian Astronaut Robert Thirsk while at the International Space Station. “Canada’s leadership role in space exploration is at the forefront of our mandate,” said Dr. Steve MacLean. “This humanitarian mission, imagined by a leading entrepreneur and artist, demonstrates the talent, imagination and dedication that Canadians are recognized for worldwide.”

This is a year of celebration for Canadian space exploration. Nearly 25 years after the first Canadian astronaut flew into space, Canadian veteran astronauts Robert Thirsk has just begun a six-month stay on the Station and Julie Payette is set to launch on an assembly mission on June 13th. In May, the Canadian Space Agency selected two Canadians to join its astronaut corps.

During his 12-day stay at the International Space Station, Laliberte will share information about water issues in the world and raise awareness for ONE DROP Foundation initiatives that promote Water for all, all for water. “With his unique artistry and imagination, Guy Laliberte will bring the experience of space exploration to new audiences around the world and inspire humanity to view space as a vantage point to monitor and protect our planet,” said Dr. MacLean. Julie Payette will also be taking the ONE DROP foundation’s emblem with her to space as part of her official flight kit, to highlight the importance of protecting this precious resource.

Canadian Space Agency
Media Relations

SpaceRef staff editor.