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Date: August 02, 2012

Astronaut Julie Payette counts down to UVic's 50th Anniversary

Most Canadians have watched the countdown to at least one space shuttle launch from the safety of their living rooms. Julie Payette, co-chair of UVic’s 50th Anniversary honorary cabinet, is one of only two Canadian women who have experienced it from inside a NASA spacecraft.

Payette will give a special illustrated presentation at the University of Victoria on Monday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Farquhar Auditorium. The Earth from Above: An Astronaut’s Perspective will feature images and video footage from Payette’s space flights and include a question-and-answer period. This free presentation, suitable for all ages, is the first in a series of 50th Anniversary signature events.

An astronaut and a professional electrical and computing engineer, Payette has made two space flights and logged more than 611 hours in space. During her mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, she orbited the Earth 153 times over 10 days and was the first Canadian to board the International Space Station. Payette served as mission specialist, operating the robotic Canadarm and supervising the spacewalk. In 2009, Payette served as flight engineer on the crew of the shuttle Endeavour during a mission to the space station.
Payette was chief astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007. Since October 2011, she has held the position of scientific authority for Quebec in Washington on behalf of Quebec’s Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade.

Payette holds an honorary degree from the University of Victoria (2002) and received the Engineers Canada Gold Medal - the highest honour from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers - in 2010. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada (2010) and Chevalière (Knight) de l'Ordre National du Québec (2000). She carried the Olympic flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, and has received numerous other honours. Her biography is available at http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronauts/biopayette.asp. View TV Ontario’s Big Ideas Series (Jan. 2012) to see some of the spectacular imagery from Payette’s experiences.

There is no admission charge for this special evening. However, tickets must be reserved in advance. Tickets are now available in person or by phone at the Farquhar Auditorium box office at 250-721-8480. Online tickets will be available beginning Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. at https://tickets.uvic.ca.

UVic’s 50th Anniversary honorary cabinet comprises 17 individuals whose contributions to Canada and the world have been exemplary, and who reflect the values that have shaped the university’s success. Payette is co-chair of the cabinet along with UVic Chancellor Murray Farmer.

For more information about UVic’s 50th anniversary celebrations, please visit www.uvic.ca/anniversary.
 

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Media contacts:

Ibrahim Inayatali (Development) at 250-721-7690 or inayat@uvic.ca
Melanie Groves (UVic Communications) at 250-472-4357 or at mgroves@uvic.ca

Julie Payette will be available for media interviews after Aug. 21. A media advisory will be issued with further details.

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Astronaut Julie Payette counts down to UVic's 50th Anniversary Images

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