Marc Garneau

First Canadian in space

Marc Garneau
Portrait from NASA

Born: 23 February 1949, Quebec City, Quebec

Marc Garneau graduated from the Royal Military College in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics. Three years later, he received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, England. In 1974, Garneau joined the Navy where, among other things, he designed a weapons training simulator and helped to create a target system using planes.

In 1983, Marc Garneau was one of six people selected from over 4,000 applicants to begin training for Canada's new astronaut program. He began training early the next year and on 5 October 1984, Garneau became the first Canadian in space when he flew aboard Challenger (STS-41G) as a payload specialist.

The Navy promoted Garneau to captain in 1986 and he retired three years later to become the Deputy Director of the Canadian Astronaut Program. In August 1992, he began training as a NASA mission specialist and flew aboard Endeavour twice, in 1996 (STS-77) and 2000 (STS-97). He has logged over 677 hours in space.

Marc Garneau was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984 and promoted to Companion in 2003. His many awards and honours include the Golden Jubilee Medal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and the Prix Montfort en sciences. On 22 November 2001, Garneau was appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency. He resigned on 28 November 2005 to run in the 2006 Canadian federal election as the Liberal candidate for Vaudreuil-Soulanges. He was unsuccessful in his bid for a seat in Parliament.

Additional trivia:

In 1969 and 1970, Garneau sailed across the Atlantic as part of the crew of a 59-foot yawl.

More information on:

Canadian Space Agency

See also:

Roberta Bondar


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Added 07 March 2004.