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Roberta Bondar

First Canadian Woman in Space


Canadian Astronaut Roberta Bondar

Canadian Astronaut Roberta Bondar

NASA Johnson Space Center

About Roberta Bondar

A neurologist and a researcher of the nervous system, Dr. Roberta Bondar was one of the six original Canadian astronauts selected in 1983. In 1992 Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman and the second Canadian astronaut to go into space. After her return from space Roberta Bondar left the Canadian Space Agency and continued her research. She also developed a new career as a nature photographer. While Chancellor of Trent University from 2003 to 2009, Roberta Bondar also demonstrated her commitment to environmental science and life-long learning and was an inspiration to students, alumni and scientists.

Roberta Bondar Space Mission

  • Payload Specialist on Space Mission S-42 - Space Shuttle Discovery - January 22-30, 1992


December 4, 1945 in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario


  • BSc in Zoology and Agriculture - University of Guelph
  • MSc in Experimental Pathology - University of Western Ontario
  • PhD in Neurobiology - University of Toronto
  • MD - McMaster University
  • Internship in Internal Medicine - Toronto General Hospital
  • Post-graduate medical training at the University of Western Ontario, at Tuft's New England Medical Center in Boston and at the Playfair Neuroscience Unit of Toronto Western Hospital

Roberta Bondar, Astronaut

  • Roberta Bondar was one of the first six Canadians astronauts selected in 1983.

  • She began astronaut training at NASA in February 1984.

  • Roberta Bondar became chairperson of the Canadian Life Sciences Subcommittee for the Space Station in 1985.

  • She also served as a member of the Premier's Council on Science and Technology.

  • In 1992 Roberta Bondar flew as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Discovery. During the space mission she conducted a complex set of microgravity experiments.

  • Roberta Bondar left the Canadian Space Agency in September 1992.

  • For the next 10 years, Roberta Bondar led a research team at NASA studying information from dozens of space missions to analyze the body's mechanisms for recovering from exposure to space.

Roberta Bondar, Photographer and Author

Roberta Bondar has taken her experience as a scientist, doctor and astronaut and applied it to landscape and nature photography, sometimes in the most extreme physical locations on earth. Her photographs are displayed in many collections and she has also published four books:

  • Landscape of Dreams
  • Passionate Vision: Discovering Canada's National Parks
  • The Arid Edge of Earth
  • Touching the Earth

See also: 10 Firsts for Canadian Women in Government

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