NAME: Marc Garneau (Ph.D.)

Canadian Space Agency Astronaut - Retired


Born February 23, 1949, in Quebec City, Canada. Married to the former Pamela Soame of Ottawa, Canada. Four children. Marc enjoys flying, scuba diving, squash, tennis, car mechanics, and home repairs. In 1969 and again in 1970, he sailed across the Atlantic in a 59-foot yawl with 12 other crewmen. His parents, Jean and Andre Garneau, reside in Ottawa, Canada. Her parents, Diana and James Soame, reside in Ottawa, Canada.


Dr. Garneau was a combat systems engineer in HMCS Algonquin, 1974-76. While serving as an instructor in naval weapon systems at the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Halifax, 1976-77, he designed a simulator for use in training weapons officers in the use of missile systems aboard Tribal class destroyers. He served as project engineer in naval weapon systems in Ottawa from 1977 to 1980. He returned to Halifax with the Naval Engineering Unit, which troubleshoots and performs trials on ship-fitted equipment, and helped develop an aircraft-towed target system for the scoring of naval gunnery accuracy. Promoted to Commander in 1982 while at Staff College, he was transferred to Ottawa in 1983 and became design authority for naval communications and electronic warfare equipment and systems. In January 1986, he was promoted to Captain. He retired from the Navy in 1989.


He is one of six Canadian astronauts selected in December 1983. He was seconded to the Canadian Astronaut Program from the Department of National Defense in February 1984 to begin astronaut training. He flew as a payload specialist on Shuttle Mission 41G, October 5-13, 1984. He was named Deputy Director of the Canadian Astronaut Program in 1989, providing technical and program support in the preparation of experiments to fly during future Canadian missions. He was selected for mission specialist astronaut training in July 1992. Dr. Garneau reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. He completed a one-year training and evaluation program and is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Dr. Garneau initially worked technical issues for the Astronaut Office Robotics Integration Team. He subsequently served as spacecraft communicator (CAPCOM) in Mission Control during Shuttle flights. A veteran of three space flights (STS-41G in 1984, STS-77 in 1996 and STS-97 in 2000), Dr. Garneau has logged over 677 hours in space.


STS-41G (October 5-13, 1984)

STS-41G was an eight-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. Dr. Garneau was the first Canadian to fly on NASA’s first mission to carry a seven-person crew. During 133 orbits of the Earth in 5.4 million km (3.4 million miles), the crew deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of the earth with the OSTA-3 pallet and Large Format Camera (LFC), performed numerous in-cabin experiments, activated eight "Getaway Special" canisters, and demonstrated potential satellite refueling with an EVA and associated hydrazine transfer. Mission duration was 197 hours 23 minutes.

STS-77 (May 19-29, 1996)

STS-77 was a ten-day mission aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour. During 160 orbits of the earth in 6.59 million km (4.1 million miles), the crew deployed two satellites (the SPARTAN satellite which carried the Inflatable Antenna Experiment designed to test the concept of large, inflatable space structures, and the small Satellite Test Unit designed to test the concept of self stabilization by using aerodynamic forces and magnetic damping, conducted twelve materials processing, fluid physics and biotechnology experiments in the Spacehab laboratory module carried in Endeavour’s payload bay. Mission duration was 240 hours and 39 minutes.

STS-97 (November 30 to December 11, 2000)

Endeavour was the fifth Space Shuttle mission dedicated to the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). While docked to the Station, the crew installed the first set of U.S. solar arrays, performed three space walks, in addition to delivering supplies and equipment to the station’s first resident crew. Mission duration was 10 days, 19 hours, 57 minutes, and traveled 7.19 million km (4.47 million miles).


In February 2001, Dr. Garneau was appointed Executive Vice President, Canadian Space Agency. He was subsequently appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency, effective November 22, 2001. Garneau resigned from his employment with the Canadian Space Agency to run for the Liberal Party of Canada in the January 23, 2006 federal election as a "star candidate". He ran in the riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges. Garneau lost but remained active in politics, and has since been reinstated as a candidate in the Westmount—Ville-Marie. Garneau won this riding in the 2008 federal election.