Few can lay claim to seeing our planet from space; but for Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman astronaut and the world’s first neurologist in space, the experience represents the fulfillment of a long-cherished dream. Throughout the mission she used her expertise to conduct over 40 advanced scientific experiments, helping to understand the body’s ability to recover from exposure to space—a great contribution to the future of space travel!
DESIGN: Designed by Canadian artist Alexandra Lefort, your coin combines colour with glow-in-the-dark effects to recreate a breathtaking view of Earth from space. The partial view of the Western Hemisphere places the focus on North America—specifically Canada—while the application of colour captures the nuances that characterize the different regions, and the different blues that mark the ocean depth. Within the outer band that frames the field, the 25th anniversary of Dr. Roberta Bondar’s historic space mission is commemorated by the number “25” and a miniature depiction of the space shuttle Discovery, as it appeared on Dr. Bondar’s personal mission crest.
EXTRA: Did you know…
Dr. Roberta Bondar has the honour of being Canada’s first woman astronaut in space, and only the second Canadian.
When the formation of a Canadian space program was announced in 1983, Dr. Bondar quickly applied to become an astronaut. She was one of the six Canadians selected from over 4,300 applicants!
The purpose of Dr. Bondar’s flight, Space Shuttle mission STS-42, was to study the effects of weightlessness on different materials and life.
Dr. Bondar’s role in the mission contributed significantly to the Canadian Space Program, but the experiments were not solely on behalf of our nation—they were on behalf of 16 different countries!
In honour of her achievements, several schools across Canada have adopted her name. It’s not uncommon to see “Roberta Bondar School” in many Canadian cities!