September 29, 1962
Canada in the Space Age
Canada was the third country to have a satellite in space, Alouette 1, launched on Sept. 29, 1962. With the launch of Anik A1 in 1972, it became the first to establish its own geostationary communication satellite network, completed in 1973 with the launch of Anik A3.
But it took 11 more years before a Canadian astronaut, Marc Garneau, took leave of the atmosphere. Eight Canadian astronauts have participated in 16 space missions, so far.
Currently, Canada has four active astronauts, Jeremy Hansen, David Saint-Jacques, Joshua Kutryk and Jennifer Sidey. In November, Saint-Jacques is slated to become the 10th Canadian in space, on a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
Number nine? He was a Canadian space tourist. Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, who reportedly paid $35 million in 2009 for a 12-day trip to the ISS. While aboard, he advocated for water conservation. He said the experience was more than worth the price tag.
In 2016, the Canadian Space Agency chose the latest two recruits, Kutryk and Sidey, from 3,772 applicants. They are training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Canadian Space Agency’s list of astronaut missions:
Marc Garneau Oct. 5-13, 1984
Roberta Bondar Jan. 22-30, 1992
Steve MacLean Oct. 22- Nov. 1, 1992
Chris Hadfield Nov. 12-20, 1995
Marc Garneau May 19-29, 1996
Bob Thirsk June 20-July 7, 1996
Bjarni Tryggvason Aug. 7-19, 1997
Dave Williams April 17-May 3, 1998
Julie Payette May 27-June 6, 1999
Marc Garneau Nov. 30-Dec. 11, 2000
Chris Hadfield April 19-May 1, 2001
Steve MacLean Sept. 9-21, 2006
Dave Williams Aug. 8-21, 2007
Julie Payette July 15-31, 2009
Robert Thirsk May 27-Dec. 1, 2009
Chris Hadfield Dec. 19, 2012-May 13, 2013