Saint-Hubert, December 1, 2000 _ Space Shuttle Endeavour, with Canadian
Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Marc Garneau aboard, lifted off last night at
22:06:01.043 EST from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) for a scheduled 12-day
mission. The Honourable Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry Canada and
Minister responsible for the CSA, and W. M. (Mac) Evans, CSA President, were
at KSC to witness the lift-off.

“This flight marks the culmination of a long odyssey for Marc Garneau and
reminds us once again of Canada’s many accomplishments in space – something
for which every Canadian can be proud,” stated Mr. Tobin who, for the first
time, witnessed a launch, on-site at Cape Canaveral.

CSA President W. M. (Mac) Evans highlighted the importance of Marc Garneau’s
mission in the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). “Marc will
install the ISS solar panels that will provide the electricity needed to
power all the Station’s systems, including life support, equipment for
scientific experiments and day-to-day operations, and to ensure survival of
the crew. The critical responsibilities that he has been assigned with for
this mission, some of which are truly a first in Canadian history, are
indicative of the excellent reputation of Canadian Space Agency astronauts,”
said Mr. Evans.

The first eight minutes

Marc Garneau played an important role in the critical and fast-paced first
eight-and-a-half minutes it took the Shuttle to reach the desired orbit. His
task was to support the Commander and the Pilot in the cockpit. Dr. Garneau
is the first non-American to hold the position of Flight Engineer. Once the
Shuttle reaches its destination, the Canadian astronaut will take part in
the data management needed for docking the Shuttle to the International
Space Station (ISS). It will be the first time a shuttle will dock with the
Station since the arrival of the first ISS permanent crew on November 2.

Powering up the ISS

STS-97’s main objective is to install the first set of solar arrays on the
Space Station. Marc Garneau will use the Canadarm to remove the solar panels
from the shuttle bay so they may be fixed to the Space Station. From inside
the Shuttle, he will coordinate the space walks of his two American
crewmates, as they complete the installation procedure.

Mission STS-97 marks the 15th flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour and is the
101st flight of a shuttle since April 1981. Marc Garneau was the first
Canadian astronaut in space; STS-97 marks Dr. Garneau’s third voyage in

The largest engineering project ever undertaken, the International Space
Station is being built jointly by Canada, the United States, Russia, Japan,
Brazil and 11 European countries. Once completed, the Station will cover an
area as large as a football field (108 x 74 metres) and weigh 450 tons.
Orbiting at an average altitude of 400 kilometres, it flies regularly over
Canada and is already visible to the naked eye.

The Canadian contribution to the International Space Station, the Mobile
Servicing Systems (MSS), is made up of three elements: a next-generation
Canadarm called the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS); a
smaller, detachable two-armed robot, the Special Purpose Dexterous
Manipulator (SPDM), that can be placed on the end of the SSRMS to perform
delicate operations; and the Mobile Remote Servicer Base System, a movable
platform for the robotic arm and the SPDM, which will slide along rails
located on the Space Station’s main structure to transport the arm to
various points on the Station. In April 2001, CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield
will become the first Canadian Astronaut to perfom a space walk when he
installs the new Canadian robotic arm on the International Space Station.

Canada is also contributing the Space Vision System (CSVS), that provides
information on the exact location, orientation and motion of a specific
target, allowing Astonauts manipulating the SSRMS to handle its payloads
precisely and safely. The Mobile Servicing System Operations Complex (MOC),
a Ground Segment located at CSA headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Quebec
completes Canada’s contribution to the ISS and will be used to plan
missions, monitor the health of the robotic arm, and to train astronauts and

Established in 1989 and situated in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, the Canadian Space
Agency coordinates all aspects of the Canadian Space Program and manages
five core functions: Earth and Environment, Space Science, Human Presence in
Space, Satellite Communications, and Space Technologies. The Canadian Space
Agency is at the forefront of the development and application of space
knowledge for the benefit of Canadians and humanity.


For more information:

Caroline Lavallée

Senior Communications Officer

Canadian Space Agency

Tel.: (450) 926-4370


Marc Garneau STS-97 Mission Website: