Successful Launch: Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette en route to ISS (Forwarded)



Canadian Space Agency
Longueuil, Quebec

July 15, 2009

Successful Launch: Canadian Astronaut Julie Payette en route to the
International Space Station

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Julie Payette is finally on her way to
the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour,
following a picture perfect launch from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida this
evening at 6:03 p.m. EDT.

Canada is proud to play a key role in this important and complex assembly
mission during which Julie Payette will have the responsibility of operating
the Shuttle Canadarm, the Station's Canadarm2, and the Japanese robotic arm.

Astronaut Payette will be joining Astronaut Robert Thirsk, already aboard
the Station since May. It will be the first time in our nation's history
that two Canadian astronauts work side-by-side in space.

"This mission marks a key moment in Canada's space history and further
demonstrates this government's commitment to science and technology," said
the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible
for the Canadian Space Agency. "Canadian astronauts and our advanced
technology are playing an absolutely critical role in the mission and in the
assembly of the Space Station."

"This is a historic mission for all the international partners, because all
five space agencies -- Canada, the United States, Russia, Japan and Europe
-- are represented on the Space Station," said CSA President Steve MacLean
from the Kennedy Space Centre, as he watched Endeavour disappear into the
sky. "When the shuttle docks, a record 13 astronauts will be on board the
orbiting laboratory, including two Canadians. I am very proud of the work
that our astronauts are doing."

All three of the robotic arms will be put to use during this mission,
sometimes all on the same day. The Shuttle's Canadarm and the station's
Canadarm2 will be put through their regular paces for surveys, unloading
cargo and moving equipment and spacewalkers around, and the new Japanese
robotic arm will be making its debut to transfer science experiments.

Mission STS-127 is scheduled to be 16 days long. This is only the second
time that astronauts have gone into a mission planning to stay in space for
that long, and the second time that five spacewalks have been planned for a
Station mission.

The mission's main event will be the installation of an external platform on
the Japanese laboratory Kibo along with scientific experiments that will be
exposed to the extreme environment of space.

This will be Payette's second space flight and second visit to the Space
Station. Ten years ago, during the earliest stages of its assembly, she was
the first Canadian to step inside the Station. Now, the Station is nearly
complete. The Station has increased its living space by 45 percent in the
past two years, and the number of astronauts working and living on board
will have doubled by the time Space Shuttle Endeavour arrives.

For the latest information about Mission STS-127, visit the CSA website at
http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/sts-127/default.asp

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Information:

Media Relations
Canadian Space Agency
Tel.: (450) 926-4370
www.asc-csa.gc.ca
.