Canada Aviation and Space Museum officially launched
May 12, 2010, Ottawa - The Canada Aviation and Space Museum hosted Canadian Astronaut, Dr. Robert Thirsk today, as he enthralled over 300 local school children with a special presentation about his recent space mission. This occasion marked the first event hosted at the Museum under its new name: the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
This initiative is the result of a dynamic new partnership between the Canada Science and Technology Museums Corporation (CSTMC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
“As one of Canada’s national cultural institutions, we are pleased to announce this partnership with the CSA that will generate dialogue and engagement for visitors of all ages,” said Denise Amyot, President and CEO of the Canada Science and Technology Museum Corporation.
Local students experienced a video presentation by Dr. Thirsk, a chance to become special reporters for the Museum’s Canadians in Space special-edition newspaper, and fun crafts and aerospace activities. The Canada Aviation and Space Museum also unveiled the first phase of its From Air to Space exhibition, featuring a select assortment of Space-related artifacts.
“After a six-month spaceflight on the International Space Station,” said Dr. Thirsk before taking the stage, “I am delighted to be speaking at the Aviation and Space Museum today where we are also celebrating the Museum’s expanded mandate and commitment to showcasing Canada’s accomplishments in space. While onboard the International Space Station, I had opportunities for personal reflection and I am convinced that exploration, innovation and advanced education are important values for our nation to uphold.’’
“Today was a fitting way to launch the new Canada Aviation and Space Museum,” noted Stephen Quick, Director General of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. “It was an honour to have one of Canada’s finest astronauts with us on this special day, and it was clear that the students were having the time of their lives.”
Dr. Thirsk became the first Canadian astronaut to fly a long duration expedition mission aboard the International Space Station where he lived and worked in space for 188 days. From May to December 2009, Dr. Thirsk served as a member of Expedition 20/21 and assumed responsibilities for the maintenance and repair of the ISS, while conducting experiments on behalf of Canadian and international researchers.