Julie Payette was the second Canadian woman to fly in space and the first Canadian to board the International Space Station.
As a child growing up in Montreal, Julie was part of the generation captivated by the Apollo missions to the Moon. She earned a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Toronto and was employed with Bell Northern Research when she applied to the space program. In 1992 her name was one of four among 5,300 applicants chosen to be a part of the next generation of Canadian astronauts. She was 28 years old.
Payette flew in space twice, on STS-96 and STS-127, and worked as Capsule Communicator (or CAPCOM) at NASA’s Mission Control Centre In Houston, Texas. In 2013, Payette moved back to Montreal where she became chief operating officer at the Montreal Science Centre. Catherine Clark spoke to Julie Payette in Montreal.
Born into political life in Ottawa, Catherine Clark is no stranger to being in the public eye. As founding host of CPAC’s popular weekly television show Beyond Politics, Catherine interviews Members of Parliament, Premiers and people of influence to reveal the personal, human side of public life. Catherine is also a sought-after public speaker and emcee, and writes the “Giving Back” column for Ottawa at Home Magazine, profiling people who are improving the lives of their fellow citizens.