October 20, 1963 |
|Time in space||25d 11h 58m|
|Selection||1992 CSA Group|
Julie Payette, OC, CQ (born October 20, 1963) is a Canadian engineer and astronaut. Payette has completed two spaceflights, STS-96 and STS-127, logging more than 25 days in space. She serves as Chief Astronaut for the CSA, and has served in other roles for both NASA and CSA, such as CAPCOM.
Education and early career 
Payette was born in Montreal, Quebec. She attended elementary and secondary schools in Montreal. In 1982 she completed an International Baccalaureate Diploma at the United World College of the Atlantic in South Wales, UK. Later she received a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering cum laude from McGill University in 1986 and a Master of Applied Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1990.
Between 1986 and 1988, Payette worked as a systems engineer for IBM Canada's Science Engineering division. From 1988 to 1990, as a graduate student at the University of Toronto, she was involved in a high-performance computer architecture project and worked as a teaching assistant. At the beginning of 1991, Payette joined the Communications and science department of the IBM Research Laboratory in Zürich, Switzerland, for a one year visiting scientist appointment. When she returned to Canada, in January 1992, she joined 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.
CSA career 
Payette was selected by the CSA as one of four astronauts from a field of 5,330 applicants in June 1992. After undergoing basic training in Canada, she 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 preparation for a space assignment, Payette obtained her commercial pilot licence and logged 120 hours as a research operator on board reduced gravity aircraft. In April 1996, Payette was certified as a one-atmosphere deep sea diving suit operator. Payette obtained her captaincy on the CT-114 Tutor military jet at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Moose Jaw, in Saskatchewan in February 1996. She obtained her military instrument rating in 1997. Payette has logged more than 1,500 hours of flight time, including 600 hours on high performance jet aircraft.
Payette reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin mission specialist training. After completing one year of training, she was assigned to work on technical issues for the Astronaut Office Robotics Branch. Payette completed the initial astronaut training in spring of 1998.
Spaceflight experience 
Payette flew on Space Shuttle Discovery from May 27 to June 6, 1999, as part of the crew of STS-96. During the mission, the crew performed the first manual docking of the Shuttle to the International Space Station, and delivered four tons of logistics and supplies to the station. On Discovery, Payette served as a mission specialist, held responsibility for the station systems and operated the Canadarm robotic arm on orbit, among other duties. The STS-96 mission was accomplished in 153 orbits of the Earth, traveling over 6 million kilometers in 9 days, 19 hours and 13 minutes. Payette became the first Canadian to participate in an ISS assembly mission and to board the Space Station. Payette served as Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007. She also worked as CAPCOM at the Mission Control Center in Houston for several years, including the return to flight mission STS-114. She was lead CAPCOM during STS-121. Payette visited the space station again in 2009 as a Mission Specialist aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour during mission STS-127 from July 15–31, 2009, and was the Flight Engineer and lead robotic operator during the mission. It was the first time two Canadians were in space at the same time.
Personal life 
Payette is fluent in French and English, and speaks some Spanish, German, Italian and Russian. She plays the piano and has sung with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and several others.
During her most recent mission Payette brought a signed sweater of the famed Montreal Canadiens star Maurice "The Rocket" Richard, stating she had brought "The Rocket" into the rocket to celebrate The Habs 100th year anniversary.
Awards and honours 
In 2000, she was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. Payette was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of Alberta at their fall convocation on November 22, 2006, and one at the University of British Columbia at their convocation on November 25, 2010. She holds 22 honorary degrees in total.
Payette assisted in the carrying of the Olympic flag in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Official NASA Bio
- Official CSA Bio
- Inventive Women Biographies: Julie Payette
- NASA (2008). "NASA Assigns Crews for STS-127 and Expedition 19 Missions". NASA. Retrieved February 11, 2008.
- Tafelmusik celebrates 30 years
- McGill Reporter: Order of Quebec given to many of our own
- Julie Payette[dead link]
- "Governor General announces 74 new appointments to the Order of Canada". Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Durham District School Board Front Page Press Release 2011-2012
- Pre-Recorded Q&A with Julie Payette in NASA's Astronaut Flight Lounge — select "Julie Payette" from the "Astronauts" tab.