January 22, 1992, with the launch of the Space Shuttle Discover’s flight, Dr Roberta Bondar realized a childhood dream and became Canada’s first woman in space. During the eight day flight, as a payload specialist she conducted over forty advanced scientific experiments for fourteen nations. On their return to Earth, Dr. Bondar and her team of researchers examined data obtained from astronauts on 24 space missions to better understand the mechanisms underlying the body’s ability to recover from exposure to space.
Roberta Bondar’s experience as an astronaut has shaped her vision as a photographer. Her photographs act as love letters to Earth. Documenting its ever changing and varied landscapes, she draws attention to the importance of the environment in our survival.
In 2000 Roberta Bondar published Passionate Vision: Discovering Canada’s National Parks in which she captured the vast Canadian landscapes represented in our 41 national parks. Photographs from the book were featured in her first exhibition with Diane Farris Gallery Earthland in 2004. Her most recent series turns from the landscape to trees. Where her previous bodies of work portrayed the Earth’s changing geography, in Canadian Canopies (2009) Bondar reminds us of the vital importance of trees as the lungs of our planet.
Roberta Bondar continues to combine her passions for photography, science and education. In 2009 The Roberta Bondar Foundation was formed. The not-for-profit charity includes a traveling exhibition and learning experience on the theme of biodiversity and extinction. Through the foundation Bondar strives to create emotional connections between participants and the environment.
CNN coverage of the launch
14th flight of space shuttle Discovery, International crew, Experiments on the International Microgravity Laboratory IML-1
STS-42 Space Shuttle Discovery
January 22-30, 1992
Launch: (Universal Time)
January 22, 1992, 14h 52m 33s
Cape Canaveral, Launch Complex 39-A
Payload mass: 28,602 lbs (13 001 kg)
Duration of flight: 8d 01h 15m 43s
Distance: 3,360 million miles (5,407 million km)
Revolutions around Earth: 129
Landing date: (wheel stop, Universal Time)
January 30, 1992, 16h 08m 16s
Landing: Runway 22, Edwards Air Force Base, California
period: 90.5 minutes
perigree: 180.8 miles (291 km)
apogee: 190 miles (307 km)
Ronald J. Grabe
Stephen S. Oswald
David C. Hilmers
Norman E. Thagard
William F. Readdy
Roberta L. Bondar
Ulf D. Merbold
- Roberta Bondar (home page)
- Talking to Children, frequently asked questions
- The View From Here, video
- Roberta Bondar and the Traditions of Landscape Photography, by Mia Johnson