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Marc Garneau speaks about the Challenger disaster

His bravery is inspiring, his grace is charming and his credentials are out of this world. In 1984 Marc Garneau became the first Canadian to fly on a NASA mission to space. During his 15 years as an astronaut, Garneau flew three times and made countless contributions to the Canadian space program, eventually becoming its president. On the ground or in the air, Garneau has been a passionate educator and trailblazer for space exploration.

On Jan. 28, 1986 the Challenger shuttle exploded 73 seconds after take-off. All seven crewmembers were killed. In their first meeting with the media since the disaster, two Canadian astronauts talk about the impact of the tragedy. "We loved them, and we were proud of them," says Marc Garneau, who was in Houston at the time of the accident. "We felt that what they were doing was worthwhile and important for mankind."
• Garneau knew several of the crew members who died. He also knew the Challenger shuttle — it took him into orbit two years before the accident.
• The Challenger tragedy put the space program on hold for two years. During that time Canada's astronauts-in-waiting, Steve MacLean and Roberta Bondar, were trained. Garneau helped formulate the experiments they would do on their missions.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Jan. 30, 1986
Guest(s): Marc Garneau, Steve Maclean
Host: Knowlton Nash
Reporter: Eve Savory
Duration: 2:04

Last updated: January 29, 2014

Page consulted on January 29, 2014

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