Hockey Goes Out Of This World
When Marc Garneau boldly went where no Canadian had gone before, he made sure a part of the national pastime came along for the ride.
Born in 1949 in Quebec City, Garneau was educated there and at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., before earning a PhD in engineering from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, England. He then went on to a 10-year career in the Canadian navy as a combat systems engineer.
In 1983 Garneau was one of over 4,000 Canadians from all walks of life to apply for six spots in Canada's nascent space program. Despite the overwhelming odds against, Garneau was chosen to become one of Canada's first astronauts.
In October of the following year, the 35-year-old Garneau became the first Canadian in space when he served as a payload specialist on a NASA mission. For the voyage in the space shuttle Challenger, Garneau brought along a hockey stick and puck as a show of affection for both the game and his country.
During his 15-year career as an astronaut, Garneau embarked on three missions, logging over 677 hours in space. A true trailblazer who made numerous contributions to his country's space program, Garneau was appointed president of the Canadian Space Agency in 2001.
Marc Garneau, CBC Archives