Roberta Lynn Bondar, my hero

Lisa Sissons
Grade 8
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

What is a hero? there are many different definitions of a hero, but my definition of hero is anyone who has some type of influence or impact on your life. My hero is Roberta Lynn Bondar, the first Canadian women in space. I think she is a hero because she showed that woman can do everything that a man can do, and maybe more. I think she showed lots of "girl power" if thats what you'd like to call it.


Roberta Lynn Bondar was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, on December 4, 1945. She grew up in a very close family, with her older sister Barbara. Her mother was a school teacher, and her father worked for the city. Roberta's family loved the outdoors. Roberta learned to ski, skate, canoe, and play other sports. When Roberta was in grade 7, her father built her a laboratory in the basement of her house. Roberta did experiments with test tubes supplied by her father. She also loved to use her microscope.

At the age of 8, Roberta was thinking about space. She watched the Northern Lights, and the stars. She loved science fiction books and movies. When Roberta was a teenager, her aunt was working in Florida, and was sending her news about the space program.

Roberta already knew that there were three things she wanted to be - a medical doctor, a scientist, and an astronaut.

When Roberta was in high school she was very involved with Girl Guides and the teaching of sports with the YMCA. She won "female athlete of the year".

Roberta studied zoology and agriculture at the University of Guelph. She also found time to coach archery and to learn to fly a single-engine plane. In 1968, she graduated from Guelph and received her pilot's license.

Roberta moved to the University of Toronto and completed her doctorate in 1974. Next came medical school at McMaster University in Hamilton. She became a medical doctor in 1977. At age 31, Roberta had achieved two of her three goals, a scientist and a medical doctor.

Dr.Bondar worked at Toronto General Hospital, then at the University of Western Ontario. In 1981 she set out for Tuft's New England Medical Center in Boston, and then returned to Toronto Western Hospital.

In 1982, her career took a big step forward. Dr.Bondar became an assitant professor of medicine at MacMaster University. She also became the director of a clinic that treated people with multiple sclerosis.

In Ottawa, the National Research Council for Canada set up the Canadian Astronaut Program in 1983. In July they advertised for payload specialists. Dr. Bondar applied right away. Over 4300 other people applied. It took six months of paperwork and interviews to choose six astronauts.
Dr.Bondar had great news on the day of her 38th birthday. She was chosen for the astronaut program.

In 1984, the six astronauts began training in Canada and in NASA centers in Texas and Florida.

On January 20, 1990 NASA announced that Dr.Bondar would be the next Canadian astronaut in space. From then on, Dr. Bondar had to train very hard for long hours, but it soon paid off.

On January 22,1992, Roberta Bondar was the first Canadian woman in space.

Dr. Bondar did hundreds of experiments while in space. She mostly did them on how the body reacts in space.

Dr. Bondar returned safely back on earth on January 30, 1992 after eight days in space.

As soon as Dr. Bondar went home, she received many special awards, and a big celebration was held in her honour.

She has already made many achievements in her life but she still has much of her career ahead of her.

I think Roberta has had many achievements in her life and she makes it clear that anything is possible, you just have to know what you want life, a nd try hard to achieve that. If you do this, one day all of your hard work will pay off.