On January 22, 1992, Dr. Roberta Bondar made history when she became Canada's first woman astronaut and the world's first neurologist in space, when she flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery as a crew member of Mission STS-42. Twenty-five years later, Canadians can celebrate her inspiring accomplishment with the world's first ever curved and glow-in-the-dark silver coin which was unveiled today by Dr. Bondar and Mint President and CEO Sandra Hanington at a ceremony hosted by Sault College.
"My view from Discovery 25 years ago forever changed my view of Earth and instilled in me a commitment to protect this magnificent planet. This special coin symbolizes the beauty of Earth from space. We need to celebrate our milestones and pioneers as we push the frontiers of discovery," said Dr. Roberta Bondar. "Glowing in the dark, the coin represents inspiration and hope for the future and it is an honour to have my role in human space flight recognized in this meaningful way."
"As the first Canadian woman to fly in space, Dr. Bondar will always be remembered as a pioneer among Canada's modern-day explorers," said Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie. "The Government of Canada is pleased that her achievement of 25 years ago and her ongoing dedication to science have been permanently honoured by the Royal Canadian Mint."
"The Mint is proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dr. Bondar's historic mission with a coin as innovative as what she achieved for women and all of Canada," said Sandra Hanington, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "This new silver coin captures yet another story of a Canadian reaching for the stars and accomplishing things that will inspire us for generations to come."
"As a physician, scientist and eventually Canada's first woman in space, Dr. Bondar has done so much to make her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie and the rest of Canadaproud," said Christian Provenzano, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie. "My fellow citizens and I are delighted that the Royal Canadian Mint has honoured Dr. Bondar's remarkable achievements with this impressive silver coin."
The reverse design by Canadian artist Alexandra Lefort combines vivid colour with glow-in-the-dark effects to recreate a breathtaking view of Earth from space, with a direct focus on Canada. The outer band framing the coin's central design features Dr. Bondar's name and text highlighting the anniversary of her space mission, as well as a miniature depiction of the space shuttle Discovery, as it appeared on the mission crest of STS-42 crew members.