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Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman in space when she travelled on the Discovery on January 22, 1992. Not only is she an astronaut, but Bondar is also a neurologist, researcher, and photographer. She established the Roberta Bondar Foundation to educate people about environmental protection.
See the fact file below for more information on the Roberta Bondar or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Roberta Bondar worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Roberta Bondar was born on December 4, 1945, in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada.
- Bondar’s father is of Ukrainian descent and worked for the city of Sault Ste. Marie, and her mother, a business and commerce teacher, is of English descent.
- Bondar had a fondness for science as a child and dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut and venturing to space.
- Her father built a science lab in the basement of their house, and this is where Bondar enjoyed conducting experiments.
- She was active in organizations, such as the Girl Guides of Canada, the YMCA, church groups, and sporting groups.
- After successfully completing secondary school, Bondar went on to obtain many certifications and degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in zoology and agriculture (from the University of Guelph)
- Master of Science in experimental pathology (from the University of Western Ontario)
- Doctor of Philosophy in neuroscience (from the University of Toronto)
- Doctor of Medicine (from McMaster University)
MEDICAL CAREER AND PREPARATION FOR SPACE
- Roberta Bondar worked as a clinical science researcher and neurologist, and she was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal College of Physicians in 1981 for neurology.
- She worked as an assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University in the early 80s, and she also served as a civil aviation medical examiner with the Ontario Premier’s Council on Science and Technology.
- In 1983, she was chosen as a member of the first Canadian Astronaut Program.
- In early 1990, Bondar was chosen to be a payload specialist for a manned Spacelab module that would investigate the effects of weightlessness on living organisms.
- On January 22, 1992, Bondar flew into space aboard the Discovery space shuttle as the first Canadian woman (the second Canadian) in space.
- During the mission, which lasted 8 days, she and her six fellow astronauts conducted over 40 life science and materials
science experiments in the Spacelab.
- The astronauts’ work, which was done in twelve-hour shifts, centered around studying the effects of low-gravity situations on the human body.
- The aim of the work was to figure out how future astronauts could undertake longer flights in space.
- This work closely related to Bondar’s previous research and clinical work on the nervous system.
- The crew were also tasked with taking photographs of Earth from
space, which is something Bondar enjoyed, as photography was always an interest of hers since childhood.
- Bondar and the other astronauts conducted experiments and analyzed the effects of microgravity on living organisms, such as shrimp eggs,
fruit fly eggs, and bacteria.
- After 129 orbits around the Earth, the shuttle landed in California on January 30, 1992. Shortly after, the astronauts were tested to compare how their bodies responded to conditions in space as opposed to
conditions on Earth.
- In September 1992, Bondar left the Canadian Space Agency to focus more on her research and interests. This included nature photography, space medicine, writing, studying professional nature photography at the Brooks Institute of Photography in California.
- Over the years, Bondar has been a consultant and speaker to many organizations that have benefited from her wide variety of experiences as a medical professional, astronaut, scientific researcher, photographer, author, and leader.
- She has been featured in movies, radio shows, and TV shows, and she has been the recipient of multiple honors and awards from various organizations and universities across Canada.
- In 2009, Bondar registered the Roberta Bondar Foundation as a not-for-profit charity with a focus on environmental awareness.
- She has donated many of her photographs to her foundation and published many books containing her photography work. She has been featured on a Canadian postage stamp and has been appointed to honorary positions in dozens of organizations and associations across Canada.
Roberta Bondar Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Roberta Bondar across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Roberta Bondar worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Roberta Bondar who became the first Canadian woman in space when she travelled on the Discovery on January 22, 1992. Not only is she an astronaut, but Bondar is also a neurologist, researcher, and photographer. She established the Roberta Bondar Foundation to educate people about environmental protection.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Roberta Bondar Facts
- Fact or Myth?
- Bondar’s Books
- Space Diaries
- Roberta Bondar Crossword
- Create a Stamp
- Space Vocabulary
- Roberta Bondar Wordsearch
- Opinion Piece
- Roberta’s Dream Day
- An Interview with Roberta Bondar
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Use With Any Curriculum
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