‘We all have faced challenges,’ says Canada’s first female astronaut

As Canada’s first female astronaut, Roberta Bondar is clearly not someone who is keen to leave the envelope unpushed.

Asked by Edmonton AM’s Mark Connolly how her gender influenced her rise to astronaut aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1992, Bondar replied with a laugh.

“We don’t have enough time,” he said.

Bondar — physician, scientist, photographer-turned-philanthropist — will be in the city Wednesday night to speak at the Edmonton Community Foundation’s 2015 Speaker Series.

Her topic: the challenges Canadians, especially Canadian women, face in the day-to-day life.

“We all face roadblocks … whatever the gender is. It’s really difficult in society to move through it smoothly, that’s for sure — especially when people have ideas that are committed to an older version of what our society should be like.”

Instead of dwelling on how things used to be, Bondar would rather see people focus on how they can contribute to their community now, by whatever means possible.

In her own life, Bondar — who holds several science and medical degrees — said each of her careers and experiences has taught her to think differently, and have impacted  how she interacts with the world around her.

“You can’t live by yourself forever with a bunch of books,” she said.



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