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1992: Roberta Bondar is out of this world

The Story

It's a perfect day for a trip that's out of this world. Under a clear blue sky at Cape Canaveral, Fla., Dr. Roberta Bondar along with six members of her crew prepare for their space mission aboard Discovery. The day Bondar has been dreaming about since she was eight is finally here. Family, friends and fellow Canucks have gathered at the John F. Kennedy Space Center to see the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native become the first Canadian woman to head for the clouds. But moments before the launch there's a glitch -- a problem with one of the fuel cells on the shuttle. The astronauts must lie on their backs and wait: An hour ticks by. Then out of the blue they're cleared for lift off. Amidst the roar of the rocket engines and the cheering crowds, Bondar's voyage aboard the space shuttle Discovery heads for space precisely at 9:52:33 a.m. EST on Jan. 22, 1992.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Jan. 22, 1992
Guest(s): Marc Garneau, Howard Parsons
Reporter: Eve Savory
Duration: 2:32

Did You know?

• During her eight-day mission, payload specialist Dr. Roberta Bondar performed life science and material science experiments in space. The Discovery returned to earth on Jan. 30, 1992, 8:07:17 a.m. PST.

• Bondar was one of the six original Canadian astronauts chosen to train at NASA in 1984. It took her eight years to finally take flight. Bondar said one of the highlights of her trip was the view of earth from space. She said she was struck by the earth's beauty and its solitude amidst the blackness of the universe.

• Bondar is a neurologist by training. She left Canada's Space Agency seven months after her mission. Bondar, 46 at the time of her resignation, told CBC's Ian Brown that her decision was due to the lack of opportunities she perceived for herself in the program.

Also on January 22:
1699: Bishop St. Valier establishes an elementary school at Quebec City. It opens in October of that year.
1807: Canada's first curling club, the Montreal Curling Club, is founded. The club's first game is played on the St. Lawrence River on April 11.
1874: Alexander Mackenzie wins the second Canadian general election for the Liberals, defeating John A. Macdonald, 138 seats to 67.
1991: The Commons votes 217-47 to endorse a UN resolution calling for military action against Iraq. The United States began their war in the Gulf earlier, on January 16.



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