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Marc Garneau, Canadian hero

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.

One year after his first trip to space Garneau is in high demand. At home in Ottawa, the kids on his street stop and stare. During this phone-in show on CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup, Garneau answers some questions for the Canadian public.
If you were to light a match in space, which way would the flame burn? What does Alberta look like from space? What are the physiological effects of space travel on the human body?

Garneau admits he was a private person before becoming an astronaut. But he takes his commitment to the public seriously. He sees the importance of building Canada's interest and knowledge about space. From his perspective, the space program is going to become a greater and greater part of life on earth. If Canada is going to play a role in space adventures, Canadians must stay interested. Garneau wants to make sure that happens.
• The press has called Garneau patriotic, and he is, but his greater allegiance is to the planet. Having seen the fragility of earth firsthand, Garneau told the press, "I know we can easily destroy it. We're in the process of slowly doing it"
• Garneau says that space intensifies all your emotions. "When you're up there, you can't help but be moved in a more intense way than perhaps in the ordinary experience of your daily life."
Medium: Radio
Program: Cross Country Checkup
Broadcast Date: Jan. 13, 1985
Guest(s): Marc Garneau
Host: Peter Downie
Duration: 36:42

Last updated: November 27, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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