On January 22, 1992, Dr. Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian Woman in Space. The Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre is proud to host her exhibit exclusively, to share her achievement with our visitors year-round.
Roberta Bondar is a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She served as Payload Specialist One (PS1), Science Detail, aboard the first flight of the International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1). This Mission occured aboard the Discovery, which was launched by NASA, named Mission STS-42.
One of Dr. Bondar's projects was to conduct the Back Pain Experiment (BPE) aboard the IML-1. At the Museum, we house a variety of artifacts from her voyage, including the special gear she had to wear in order to conduct this experiment. In addition, the astronaut was allowed to bring two personal items with her into space: one was an RCAF flag, and the other was her "Flying Ferret" T-Shirt. This T-Shirt was printed with a variety of images and family members very special to Dr. Bondar, and it can be seen in many of the photos taken aboard the Discovery.
The Discovery successfully landed back on Earth on January 30, 1992. After eight days in space, Roberta Bondar had not only fulfilled a lifelong dream, but had also returned a local and national treasure.
For more information on Dr. Roberta Bondar, please visit her exhibit at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, or visit her official website.