Roberta Lynn Bondar

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science

First Canadian woman astronaut in space

When Bondar was young she would gaze up at the clear night skies of Northern Ontario and pretend to be Flash Gordon on an asteroid in search of “Ming the Merciless.” She made models of rockets, collected posters and badges from NASA, and played with crystal radio sets, hoping to make first contact with alien beings. Later she took physics and mathematics courses in high school and received university degrees in zoology and biology, got a private pilot’s license and became a doctor specializing in neurology. Then she was accepted into the Canadian Space Program and trained in the USA for three full years to do science in space. In January 1992, she became the first Canadian woman in space when she flew on the space shuttle Discovery as a payload specialist on the first International Microgravity Laboratory Mission. She is the author of Touching the Earth, published in September 1995.

Sources: Bondar, personal communication; Canadian Space Agency


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