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Canadian Astronaut Recalls Her Maiden Voyage to Space

Roberta Bondar knew as a child that she wanted to be an astronaut.

Roberta Bondar thinks back on her most unforgettable memory of being the first Canadian astronaut to blast off to the vast reaches of outer space.

She details the recollection to commemorate the 30th anniversary of her space flight.

Bondar was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, on the 4th of December in 1945.

At an early age, she had already shown her interest in science.

Due to her passion for the sciences, her father decided to construct a laboratory in their basement so she could conduct various experiments.

Bondar, as she grew up, then aspired to become an astronaut.

In 1983, before her inaugural space flight, the Canadian Astronaut Corps handpicked Bondar to become among its six initial members.

A year later, she started her astronaut training, prepared herself for the trip to the cosmos, and subsequently led onboard research on the effects of low gravity on human life.

After the eight-year training, Canadian astronaut Bondar embarked on her maiden voyage – dubbed the Space Mission S-42 or Mission STS-42, which began on the 22nd of January in 1992.

During the Mission STS-42 flight aboard the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery, Bondar carried out roughly 40 experiments inside the European Space Agency-developed Spacelab.

Her study on the impact of low-gravity situations on the human body provided NASA enough time to help astronauts adapt to prolonged stays inside the space station.

The Space Mission S-42 lasted for eight years.

Bondar’s journey into the high frontier made her appreciate Earth, even more so as she recalled those significant events in her life.

Her deep and thought-provoking perspective on our planet made her realize that heavenly bodies, let alone human beings, are simply a speck of intergalactic dust and that there’s more to discover in the final frontier.

Such cosmic odyssey eventually shifted her attention past her astronaut career to appreciating the natural environment and promoting environmental awareness through her passion for photography.


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