Julie Payette

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Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette

Julie Payette (born October 20, 1963 in Montréal, Québec) is an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) who currently works primarily with the United States's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Contents

Education

Payette attended elementary and secondary schools in Montréal. In 1982 she completed an International Baccalaureate Diploma at the United World International College of the Atlantic in South Wales, UK. She later received a bachelor of engineering from McGill University in 1986 and a Master of applied science from the University of Toronto in 1990. She is fluent in French and English and conversational in Spanish, Italian, German and Russian.

Career

Between 1986 and 1988, Julie Payette worked as a system engineer for IBM Canada's Science Engineering division. From 1988 to 1990, as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, she was involved in a high-performance computer architecture project and worked as a teaching assistant. At the beginning of 1991, Payette joined the Communications and science department of the IBM Research Laboratory in Zürich, Switzerland, for a one year visiting scientist appointment. When she returned to Canada, in January 1992, she joined the Speech Research Group of Bell-Northern research in Montréal where she was responsible for a project in telephone speech understanding using computer voice recognition.

Payette was selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as one of four astronauts amongst a field of 5,330 applicants in June 1992. After undergoing basic training in Canada, she worked as a technical advisor for the Mobile Servicing System, an advanced robotics system and Canada’s contribution to the International Space Station. In 1993, Payette established the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the Canadian Astronaut Program and served as a technical specialist on the NATO International Research Study Group on speech processing.

In preparation for a space assignment, Payette obtained her commercial pilot license and logged 120 hours as a research operator on board reduced gravity aircraft. In April 1996, Payette was certified as a one-atmosphere deep sea diving suit operator. Payette obtained her captaincy on the CT-114 Tutor military jet at the Canadian Air Force Base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in February 1996. She obtained her military instrument rating in 1997. Payette has logged more than 900 hours of flight time, including 450 hours on high performance jet aircraft.

Payette reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin mission specialist training. After completing one year of training, she was assigned to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch. Payette completed the initial astronaut training in spring of 1998. Payette flew on Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999 as part of the crew of STS-96. During the mission, the crew performed the first manual docking of the Shuttle to the International Space Station, and delivered 4 tons of logistics and supplies to the station. On Discovery, Payette served as a mission specialist, held responsibility for the Station systems and operated the Canadarm robotic arm on orbit. The STS-96 mission was accomplished in 153 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 6 million kilometers in 9 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes. Payette became the first Canadian to participate in an ISS assembly mission and to board the Space Station.

Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency, Payette also works as a CAPCOM at the Mission Control Center in Houston. She divides her time between these responsibilities and astronaut currency training.

See also

Canadian astronauts

Space agencies

External links

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