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A memorable meeting between Jenni Sidey-Gibbons and Roberta Bondar


Uploaded on February 11, 2019


A memorable meeting between Jenni Sidey-Gibbons and Roberta Bondar

2019-02-11 - Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jenni Sidey-Gibbons chats with her childhood hero, Dr. Roberta Bondar, the first Canadian woman to go to space. Jenni Sidey-Gibbons shows her a scrapbook she made nearly 30 years ago with newspaper clippings from Roberta Bondar's mission. Listen to her childhood memories to find out how it all started for Jenni. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)


Roberta Bondar: people said: Well, you know, you're carrying the weight of all women in Canada on my shoulders, and I said: Well, we're weightless; that's a good thing.

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: (laughter)

Roberta Bondar: (laughter)

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: I love that.

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: Roberta, I wanted to show you something that I made. 27 years ago, when you flew on the Space Shuttle –

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: This is a scrapbook that I think mostly -- I will be honest, it was my mom -- (laughter) -- because I have seen --

Roberta Bondar: She probably didn't trust you with the glue. (laughter)

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: I know. And I wanted to show you this because my mom kept this all these years.

Roberta Bondar: I think parents have a tremendous role to play in our lives, and if I may; I just want to tell you that when I was a little girl I used to put these plastic model rockets together and then -- when I got into the space program the first Christmas there was this big box under the tree with a nice red bow on it, and when I opened it up, inside were all those space models. My mother had put them in a box. She kept thinking to herself: Someday she's going to go to space, because that was so important to her. See? Even when you're young and you have a passion, you should -- don't throw things away. Because they can be a source of inspiration to us later.

Roberta Bondar: What about you?

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: Well, I guess my journey kind of was -- started, really, from yours, your flight -- again, that was the start of a lot of science for me. And again, I had this really encouraging mother who would -- now, I recognize, later, everything that she did. I hope that I did at the time, but now I certainly recognize that she took me to museums and she did things like this, make this scrapbook with me and encouraged me when I was interested in space and other types of science.

Roberta Bondar: Yes.

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: And then this opportunity with the Canadian Space Agency came along and I hadn’t thought about it in a while, but revisiting that, it just sparked this -- I guess come back of space in my life and that central vein of exploration just continued but in a very different way. So, for me, it's also this idea of exploring and discovering new things.

Roberta Bondar: I'm going to make a scrapbook of your flight.

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: Oh -- (laughter)

Roberta Bondar: Yes, and I will probably --

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: I should be so lucky. (laughter)

Roberta Bondar: I will probably have a -- maybe a little -- I think maybe a Burgundy scooter … that would be kind of fun to do.

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: Wow!

Roberta Bondar: Yes.

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: I would be honoured by that.

Roberta Bondar: Yes.

Jenni Sidey-Gibbons: Thank you.


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