Canadians in Space

International Space Station

The International Space Station is the largest science and technology project in the history of humanity, a symbol of international cooperation and the joint effort of the world's leading industrialized nations. The five key partners are Canada, the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Space Agency (composed of eleven European nations). Construction began in late 1998 with launches of the first two components - the Russian module Zarya and the US module Unity. Several more elements have since been installed, including the US Science Lab, Destiny. Construction is expected to continue until 2006, requiring a total of some 50 space flights.

Canada has been involved from the outset and its role evolved naturally from its participation in the Space Shuttle program and the development of the Canadarm, the Shuttle's robot arm to the delivery of Canadarm2 in April 2001. Without the use of Canadian robotic technologies, the International Space Station simply could not be built.

YES I Can! Science followed in real-time recent missions to the International Space Station where Canadian Astronauts used Canadian technology to make historic contributions to the development of ISS:

  • Mission STS-97, in November 2000. Marc Garneau used the Canadarm to install the solar arrays that will generate electricity to run all the Station's systems, including life support, daily operations and scientific equipment.
  • Mission STS-100, in April 2001. Chris Hadfield delivered and installed Canadarm2 on ISS. This robotic system will play a key role in space station assembly and maintenance, moving equipment and supplies around the station, supporting astronauts working in space and servicing instruments and other payloads attached to the space station.

Although Missions STS-97 and STS-100 are now complete, the archives provide curriculum-linked lesson plans and assessment tools that are relevant beyond the particular missions. Teachers are invited to follow the mission links and use these resources with their students in exploring the science "at the heart of innovation in space".

York University YES I Can! Science