Celebrating Seniors – Roberta Bondar is 70
New Canadian septuagenarian senior citizen, neurologist and former astronaut Roberta Bondar, was born December 4, 1945 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
Like many female baby boomers growing up in the 1950’s and 70′, Roberta Bondar was a girl guide. Atypically for female baby boomers, she was also a science geek in high school. by 1977 she had acquired multiple degrees and doctorates from 5 Canadian universities – University of Guelph (B.SC’s in Zoology & Agriculture), University of Western Ontario (Master of Science in experimental pathology), University of Toronto (Doctor of Philosophy in neuroscience) and Hamilton’s McMaster University (Doctor of Medicine).
Multi talented (she is also an author, public speaker, and landscape photographer) and driven, Roberta Bondar began training as an astronaut in 1984. She performed scientific experiments on the space shuttle Discovery mission in 1992, becoming the first Canadian woman astronaut in space.
Below, Canadian astronauts Ken Money and Roberta Bondar in the foreground, during zero-gravity training in 1984 on board NASA’s KC135 aircraft. Photo: STF/UPC/CP
During her 50+ years, Bondar headed a team at NASA researching relationships between recovery from space microgravity and neurological illnesses on earth (stroke, Parkinson’s Disease). She also served as a Chancellor of Trent University for 6 years, from 2003-2009. Her first inclusion in a group photographic exhibition in 1997/1998 led to many more solo and group exhibitions. More recently as a senior citizen, Roberta Bondar’s works have been seen in solo and group exhibitions in 2010 and 2013 at galleries in Ontario, Alberta, and Vancouver.
In 2009 Bondar founded The Roberta Bondar Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable organization focused on education, research, and improving the knowledge of nature and our environment through travelling exhibitions, use of photography, and the melding art and science.
Above, Roberta Bondar in 2013, courtesy The Roberta Bondar Foundation
Roberta Bondar has been recognized for her contributions with honors that include the Order of Canada, The Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Medal, and 22+honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities. Bondar received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame as a new senior citizen in 2011 and numerous schools and buildings in Canada have been named for her.
Happy 70th Birthday, Roberta Bondar!