Previously published in Examiner
Conclusion of the female astronaut series
We have now come to the end of the female astronaut series and we will finish with our own beloved Julie Payette.
Julie Payette Canadian engineer and Canadian Astronaut
Julie Payette was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, on October 20, 1963. Julie completed her primary and secondary education here in Montreal. She then traveled to the UK to do her baccalaureate diploma at the international United World College of the Atlantic in South Wales. She then came back to Montreal to obtain her Bachelor of engineering cum laude (with honours) from McGill University.
In 1986 – 1988 Payette worked for IBM Canada’s Science Engineering division as a systems engineer. Then from 1988 to 1990 she worked as a teacher’s assistant for a high-performance computer architecture project at the University of Toronto.
In 1991, she travelled to Zurich, Switzerland to work for their Communications and Science Department of the IBM Research Laboratory.
On her return home to Montreal in 1992, Payette worked for the “Speech Research Group of Bell-Northern research in Montreal, where she was responsible for a project in telephone speech understanding using computer voice recognition.”
Canada Space Agency
Payette was selected as a Canadian Astronaut in 1992. Payette 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 1996, she received her captaincy on the CT-114 Tutor military jet at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Moose Jaw, in Saskatchewan. She received her military instrument rating in 1997.
Payette has over 1,300 hours of space time; 450 of those hours are aboard a high performance jet aircraft. In 1996, she worked at the Johnson Space Center and after training, she worked on technical issues for the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch.
Payette flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1999, as missions specialist responsible for the Canadian Robotic Arm. She is the chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency, worked at NASA missions control as CAPCOM, and once again she served as mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1999.
In 2002 Payette became Knight of the National Order of Quebec