Marcus James Thomson, Ph.D.

Canada’s next GG to be Julie Payette

Julie Payette spoke at Queen’s while I was a student (whether I was a senior undergraduate or Master’s student at the time, I cannot recall). She was an amazing person to hear — down-to-earth, unassuming and friendly, but self-confident and committed to NASA’s exploration mission. At that time, there was a lot of uncertainty about the International Space Station (ISS) and the meaning and real public interest of near-earth exploration. Astronaut Payette was working out of Moscow and Kazakhstan as a liaison officer for NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Russian space program, then suffering a lot of financial troubles and turning to selling private seats to visit the ISS. I didn’t know how she could remain so enthusiastic; and frankly, I wondered whether someone so talented would reflect on herself doing PR for an aged space program desperately arguing for its own relevance. Anyway, I was convinced: by the end of her talk, I was persuaded that space exploration was as valuable as ever and later dabbled in a Mars Analogue Rover Project. She was certainly an important influence on my subsequent career choices.

She is an excellent choice for Canada’s next Governor General!

This entry was published on July 13, 2017 at 2:14 PM and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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