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1999: Julie Payette's historic voyage to space

The world is watching on May 27, 1999, as astronaut Julie Payette makes aerospace history as the first Canadian to participate in an International Space Station (ISS) assembly mission. The Montreal native and six other astronauts are aboard the space shuttle Discovery as part of the STS-96 mission to perform the first manual docking of the shuttle to the ISS. During the mission the crew will also deliver four tons of supplies, also making Payette the first Canadian to board the space station.

Payette's family and other Canadians, including many school children, have gathered at Cape Canaveral, Fla. to show their support and watch the historic liftoff. In this CBC-TV clip, they share their enthusiasm and curiosity about the mission and revere Payette for inspiring a younger generation of Canadians to explore "the wonders of the world beyond."
• Payette earned an engineering degree from McGill University in 1986 and worked at IBM Canada and BNR/Nortel, specializing in computer systems, natural language processing, automatic speech recognition and interactive technology in space.

• In 1992, after receiving 5,330 applications, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) chose Payette and three others to become astronauts. During her training, Payette learned Russian, obtained her commercial pilot's license and military pilot captaincy, and logged 120 hours aboard a reduced gravity aircraft.

• In 1996, she was accepted into the NASA Astronaut Candidate Training. After completing the two-year program, Payette worked on space robotics for the NASA Astronaut Office.

• The STS-96 mission travelled more than six million kilometres in nine days, 19 hours and 13 minutes.

• Payette is also a classically trained musician and has performed with Montreal's Orchestre symphonique, the Piacere Vocale in Basel, Switzerland, and Toronto's Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: May 27, 1999
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Anna Maria Tremonti
Duration: 2:41

Last updated: January 31, 2012

Page consulted on January 2, 2014

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