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Saskatchewan in Space Part 5: Dafydd Williams

We would like to thank the University of Saskatchewan Space Team, University of Saskatchewan Computer Museum, Claybank Brick Plant National Historic Site, Dr. Dafydd Williams, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Douglas Lindner and Ken Mayhew for providing information and/or photos for these blog posts.

Saskatchewan is probably not the first place that comes to mind when people discuss space exploration, but there are a number of Saskatchewan connections to this topic! One of the WDM’s curatorial priorities is the collection and preservation of Saskatchewan innovations. We work towards this priority through projects like the Saskatchewan Patent Index and our Fuelled by Innovation exhibit at the WDM Saskatoon, where about half the vehicles are Saskatchewan-made.

Over the course of five weeks we will share five website features about space exploration and Saskatchewan innovation. Each feature will highlight one person or object with ties to Saskatchewan. From bricks made in Claybank to computer technology developed in Saskatoon to chainmail made in Swift Current, Saskatchewan has plenty of ties to space exploration!

Our final feature in this series is about Saskatchewan-born astronaut Dafydd Williams.

Dafydd Williams was born in Saskatoon in 1954. He completed high school in Quebec and then attended McGill University, where he obtained a BSc in biology, an MSc in Physiology, and a Doctorate of Medicine and Master of Surgery.

Dafydd Williams, August 13, 2007, performing maintenance on the International Space Station. © Canadian Space Agency. Click on image to enlarge

In 1992 he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency to begin basic astronaut training. A trained medical doctor, he was appointed manger of the Missions and Space Medicine Group with the Canadian Astronaut Program.

In 1998 he was on the Space Shuttle Columbia for its 16-day space flight. Shortly after, he became the first non-American to hold a senior management position in NASA when he became the Director of Space and Life Science Directorate at the Johnson Space Center.

In 2007, he participated in his second space flight on Space Shuttle Endeavour to the International Space Station. During this mission he participated in two space walks.

He was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame on June 14, 2012.

By: Kaiti Hannah, Curatorial Associate


CLICK HERE to read Part 4 – University of Saskatchewan Space Team’s Cube Satellite

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