Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette Assuming New Challenges

Longueuil, Quebec, May 8, 2013 – The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) offers its congratulations to Astronaut Julie Payette as she assumes the challenging role of Chief Operating Officer of the Montreal Science Centre as well as Vice President of the Canada Lands Company as of mid-July.

"Over the past twenty years, through two space missions, Julie Payette has led a distinguished career in service to Canada and all Canadians", said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the CSA.  "Since her selection in 1992 from among a field of 5330 candidates, as a member of Canada's Astronaut Corps, Julie Payette has showcased Canadian expertise, Canadian Science and Canadian Technology to the world, while at the same time, inspiring our youth to pursue advanced studies and careers in the sciences and engineering".

During her impressive career CSA Astronaut Julie Payette flew two missions aboard the U.S. Space Shuttle to the International Space Station (ISS).

As a mission specialist, Julie Payette flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999 on STS-96. During the mission, the crew performed the first manual docking of the Shuttle and delivered four tons of supplies to the ISS. Ms. Payette was responsible for the Station systems, supervised the space walk and operated the Canadarm robotic arm. Julie Payette was the first Canadian to participate in an ISS assembly mission and to board the ISS.

From July 15 to 31, 2009, Julie Payette served as flight engineer on the crew of STS-127 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on the 29th Shuttle mission to the ISS. During this mission the crew completed the construction of the Japanese Kibo Experiment Module, installed scientific experiments on its external science platform and delivered critical spare parts and replacement batteries to the orbital complex. Robotics technology was used extensively on this assembly mission and Ms. Payette operated all three robotic arms – the Space Shuttle's Canadarm, the Station's Canadarm2, and a special-purpose Japanese arm on Kibo. While docked to the ISS, this mission featured a record 13 astronauts from 5 different nationalities working together on board a single spacecraft. This mission also established a Canadian Space milestone, the first time two Canadians Astronauts: Julie Payette and Bob Thirsk were in space at the same time.

In all Julie Payette has flown more than 16.5 million kilometres and spent 25 days, 11 hours, 58 minutes and 57 seconds orbiting the Earth over 402 times.

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