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Historic Stamp Unveiling Brings Canada's Eight Space Travellers Together for the First Time Ever

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Friday, September 26, 2003

Saint-Hubert, September 26, 2003 - Canada Post wanted to make sure that "October is Stamp Collecting Month 2003" was out of this world, and took one giant step towards that goal today with an historic stamp unveiling. The Honourable Steven W. Mahoney, Secretary of State Responsible for Canada Post and the Honourable André Ouellet, President and CEO of Canada Post President, invited all eight Canadian Space Agency astronauts who have taken part in space missions to join them in unveiling stamps in their honour this morning. The event marked the first time all eight astronauts have shared the same "space" together.

The event took place in the conference centre of the John H. Chapman Space Centre, home of the Canadian Space Agency, before a packed house of more than 250 invited guests. The eight stamps, issued to recognize more than four decades of Canadian achievements in space exploration, feature images of all eight astronauts who have been part of space missions: Marc Garneau (1984, 1996, 2000), Roberta Bondar (1992), Steve MacLean (1992), Chris Hadfield (1995, 2001), Robert Thirsk (1996), Bjarni Tryggvason (1997), Dave Williams (1998) and Julie Payette (1999).

"For over 40 years, Canada has vigilantly pursued a national vision of space that has brought many dreams to reality," said the Honourable Steven W. Mahoney, Secretary of State responsible for Canada Post. "For Canadians, space exploration remains not only a source of wonder, but of national pride. Canadian Astronauts have played a key role over the past two decades in Shuttle missions."

The Canadian Space Agency was created by Act of Parliament on December 14th, 1989. Its mandate is to promote the peaceful use and development of space for the social and economic benefit of Canadians. The agency is responsible for numerous science and technology programs, including the development of satellites, space robotic technology and space sciences.

"Being recognized for the work we do on behalf of Canadians is a great honour," said Dr. Marc Garneau, the President of the Canadian Space Agency. "The CSA will continue to put Canada at the cutting edge of space exploration."

October has been recognized as Stamp Collecting Month in countries around the world for over 20 years. Postal administrations, including Canada Post, use the month to further educate philatelists and entice new collectors into what is often described as the world's most popular hobby. Canada Post has issued some of its most popular stamps for past Stamp Collecting Months, including issues that featured Superman, Winnie the Pooh and last year's innovative set on mountains.

The stamps will be available at post offices across the country on October 1, 2003. The unique circular self-adhesive stamp measures 40 mm in diameter, and will be sold in sheets of eight. The stamps were designed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier and printed by Lowe-Martin, using six-colour lithography with gold and silver foil.

Stamps and Official First Day covers will be available at participating post offices, ordered online by following the links at Canada Post's Web site www.canadapost.ca, or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA call toll-free: 1-800-565-4362 and from other countries call: (902) 863-6550. Stamp information may also be found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post's Web site.

The eight stamps, issued to recognize more than four decades of Canadian achievements in space exploration, feature images of all eight astronauts who have been part of space missions: Marc Garneau (1984, 1996, 2000), Roberta Bondar (1992), Steve MacLean (1992), Chris Hadfield (1995, 2001), Robert Thirsk (1996), Bjarni Tryggvason (1997), Dave Williams (1998) and Julie Payette (1999).

For further information, contact:

Tim McGurrin
Communications
Canada Post
Telephone: (613) 734-7686

Monique Billette
Public Affairs and Media
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: (450) 926-4370

Canadian Astronauts in space... and on stamps

Marc Garneau has a doctorate in electrical engineering. He became the first Canadian astronaut to fly in space on Shuttle Mission STS-41G in 1984. He flew two additional missions, in 1996 and 2000, and is currently President of the Canadian Space Agency.

Roberta Bondar, a medical doctor and Ph.D. in neurobiology, became the first Canadian woman astronaut and the world's first neurologist in space in 1992 on the International Microgravity Laboratory. She was elected to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for her pioneering space medical research.

Steve MacLean, with a Ph.D. in physics, conducted several experiments during his 1992 mission, including tests on the Canadian Space Vision System, a technology that he helped develop to assist in the operation of Canadarm and Canadarm2.

Chris Hadfield, an engineer and a test pilot, is the only Canadian to have visited the Russian space station Mir in 1995. He became the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk in 2001 during the installation of Canadarm2 on the International Space Station.

Robert Thirsk is an engineer and a doctor of medicine. He and his crewmates performed experiments devoted to the study of microgravity and life sciences in the shuttle's Spacelab module. His 1996 mission lasted 17 days, the longest for a Canadian astronaut.

Bjarni Tryggvason has a degree in engineering physics with a specialization in applied mathematics. In 1997 he conducted a series of tests in space on the Canadian Microgravity Vibration Mount, an instrument which he designed to counter the effects of spacecraft vibrations on fluid science experiments.

Dave Williams has done research in neurophysiology and is an emergency physician. In 1998 he participated in Neurolab, a complex life science mission to study the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. He is the first Canadian to have lived and worked in both orbiting and undersea laboratories.

Julie Payette is an electrical engineer with a master's degree in computer engineering. During a ten-day mission in 1999, she operated the Canadarm while in orbit and became the first Canadian to board the International Space Station. She is currently Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.

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