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CSA Astronaut Robert Thirsk to Replace Dave Williams for NEEMO 7

Press Release From: Canadian Space Agency
Posted: Monday, October 4, 2004

image Longueuil, Quebec, October 4, 2004 - The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced today that NEEMO 7 back-up crewmember Dr. Robert Thirsk, CSA astronaut, will replace Dr. Dave Williams as commander of the mission. NASA and CSA officials decided after discussions that Dr. Thirsk, a Canadian astronaut and medical practitioner, will lead this important undersea mission to test and evaluate telerobotic surgical applications and telementoring.

Dr. Thirsk was called upon to assume this role after a review of a recent medical condition of Dr. Dave Williams, also a Canadian astronaut. However, Dr. Williams, who was instrumental in designing the mission, will continue to be actively involved in the NEEMO 7 mission. Dr. Williams is expected to be medically recertified for active duty as an astronaut and aquanaut in the near future, and to return to training for Space Shuttle Mission STS-118.

The Canadian and U.S. team will be supporting a series of telesurgery and telementoring initiatives planned for the 11-day undersea mission off the coast of Key Largo, Florida, from October 11 to 21, 2004.

More information on the crew and the objectives of the NEEMO 7 mission are available on the CSA Website, http://www.space.gc.ca

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