Canadian Explorers
Canadian Explorers

Canada's greatest explorers 2015


Roberta Bondar


Photo credit: ©BMPATTERSON

Canada’s first spacewoman

Expertise: Space science, Health, Photography, film, art

By Carys Mills

For eight days in 1992, Roberta Bondar left Earth. Canada’s first female astronaut, the first non-American woman to fly on a U.S. space shuttle and the first neurologist in space, she was aboard NASA’s shuttle Discovery to conduct scientific experiments for 14 nations and help us learn about how humans react to space. In one experiment, since immortalized in the Imax movie Destiny in Space, cameras recorded Bondar’s eye and inner ear responses to her body spinning in a chair in microgravity. She was able to use her artistic side while in orbit as well, snapping stunning photos while flying over Canada. Back on Earth, Bondar headed an international space medicine research team, finding new connections between recovering from floating in space and neurological illnesses, and continues to publish books of her landscape photography.


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