Roberta Bondar is the first female Canadian astronaut and also the very first neurologist to travel into space. She was born on December 4, 1946 in Sault Ste-Marie, Ontario. She attended the University of Guelph and earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and agriculture in 1968.
She received her master’s degree in experimental pathology from the University of Western Ontario and Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Toronto respectively in 1971 and 1974. Roberta started her fellowship in neurology in the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1981.
Quick Facts: –
- From 1982 to 1984, she served as an assistant professor of medicine.
- Roberta Bondar became a member of the Canadian Space Agency in 1984 after being chosen as one of the six original Canadian astronauts.
- She flew into space on January 22, 1992 aboard NASA’s space shuttle Discovery.
- Bondar led an international space medicine research team during her time in space.
- She is a Canadian Medical Hall of Fame inductee. In 1982, she received a ‘Career Scientist Award’ from the Ministry of Health, Ontario.
- She also received the NASA Space Medal for her contribution in the field of space medicine.
- Many Canadian and American universities offered her honorary doctorates. She currently holds twenty four of them.
- On September 4, 1992, Bondar left CSA and continued with her research work.
- In 2000, she had a book on Canada’s national parks titled ‘Passionate Vision’ published under her name.