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August '13

Space Flight

Sheila Whelan

From the 12 second Orville Wright’s flight to 17,500 mph of the International Space Station (ISS), aviation and space travel has continued to 

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challenge humans.  The Original 7 Astronauts set the stage for the 558 other astronauts around the world.

Chris Hadfield, who recently was Commander of the ISS, was in Canada’s second group of astronauts.  Canada’s major contribution to the space program has been the Canada Arm.  Now, Chris has given the world a new reason for Canada to be in the space business.  He saw 16 sunrises and sunsets each day. The medical challenges that Chris endured during his 5 months in space involved:  his heart slowing down, his bones losing calcium, his DNA changing as a result of the radiation environment, some vision and hearing loss, and a potential for kidney stone development.  The upward fluid shift will reduced the size of his legs.  Postflight, Chris Hadfield is involved in 45 days of rehab to assess his health by his Doctor, 

and gain muscle strength and bone strength with an exercise program designed for him by his Trainer each day. 

 The Shuttle program ended in 2011, 30 years after the first flight of Shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981.  The end of this incredible era of flying the most technical vehicle will shift the focus on spaceflight going back to the Moon, and then on to Mars.   With a potential end of the ISS slated for 2020, commercial vehicles will be used to go to other planets.    In the meantime, we can view the ISS as it passes the GTA often. 


To find the ISS times passing over Oakville:

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