Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for May 27th!

Canadian History for Kids: Julie Payette

May 27, 1999 – Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette takes part in Shuttle mission and is the first Canadian to board the International Space Station.

This Canadian History for Kids exclusive looks at astronaut Julie Payette.

On May 27, 1999, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette took part in a 10-dayt STS-96 mission on board the Space Shuttle discovery to become the first Canadian to board the International Space Station.

Julie Payette was born on October 20, 1963, in Montreal, Quebec. In 1980 at the age of 16, she received 1 of 6 scholarships to attend the United World International College of the Atlantic in the United Kingdom. She received a Bachelor in electrical engineering from McGill in 1986, and a Master of applied science from the University of Toronto in 1990.

In June of 1992 she was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as an astronaut. She received basic training in Canada, worked as a technical advisor for the Mobile Servicing System on the robotic system that was Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station.

In 1993 she founded the Human Computer Interaction Group and was technical specialist for the International Research Studies Group on speech recognition for NATO.

She studied Russian and underwent more than 120 flight hours in reduced gravity on various parabolic aircrafts.

In 1996 she completed her deep-water training and was certified as an operator. She also qualified as a military jet captain with the Canadian Air Force Base in Saskatchewan. She trained as a Mission Specialist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and was appointed to the technical project in the robotic division of the Astronaut office. She became a NASA Mission Specialist in 1998.

She flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June, 1999, as part of the crew. She served as a mission specialist. Her responsibility was to operate the Canadarm from the space station.

She flew again in 2009 as a mission specialist with the crew of the Space Shuttle Endeavour from July 15 to 31, 2009. She was also the Flight Engineer and lead robotic operator.

In 2010 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and assisted in carrying the Olympic Flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In 2011 she accepted a research fellowship as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. as well as an appointment as Scientific Delegate to the United States for the Quebec Government. She remains a member of the Canadian astronaut corps.

On September 6, 2011, the Julie Payette Public School was opened in Whitby, Ontario.

And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!

Other Canadian History for Kids Sketches of Canada