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Julie Payette Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Female. Marital Status: Married. Birth Date: 20 October 1963. Birth City: Montreal. Birth State: Quebec. Birth Country: Canada. Nationality: Canadian. Group: 1996 NASA Group. Date Selected: 09 June 1992. Number of Flights: 1. Total Time: 9.80 days.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Julie Payette
CSA Astronaut (Mission Specialist Candidate)

Born October 20, 1963, in Montreal, Quebec. Married to François Brissette. Enjoys triathlon, skiing, racquet sports and scuba diving. Holds a multi-engine commercial pilot license with instrument rating. Ms. Payette plays piano and has sung with the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra Chamber Choir, the Piacere Vocale in Basel, Switzerland, and with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Choir in Toronto, Canada. Fluent in French and English, and conversational in Spanish, Italian, German and Russian.

Primary and secondary school in Montreal, Quebec. International Baccalaureate (1982) at the United World International College of the Atlantic in South Wales, UK. Bachelor of Engineering (1986) from McGill University, Montreal and a Master of Applied Science (1990) from the University of Toronto.

Member of l'Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec. Appointed member (Governor-in-Council) of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Ninety Nines, a women pilots organization.

Received one of six Canadian scholarships to attend the International UWC of the Atlantic in South Wales, UK (1980). Greville-Smith Scholarship (1982-1986), highest undergraduate award at McGill University. McGill Faculty Scholar (1983-1986), graduated with distinction in 1986. NSERC post-graduate Scholarship (1988-1990). Massey College Fellowship (1988-1990). In November 1994, the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers awarded her its 1994 distinction for exceptional achievement by a young engineer.

Research activities in computer systems, natural language processing and automatic speech recognition. Current interests are in the application of interactive technology to space. Between 1986 and 1988, Ms. Payette worked as a system engineer for IBM Canada's Scientific and Engineering Division. From 1988 to 1990, she was involved in a high-performance computer architecture project. In 1991, Ms. Payette joined the Communications and Computer Science Department of the IBM Research Laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland, for a one-year visiting scientist appointment. Upon her return to Canada, in January 1992, Ms. Payette joined the Speech Research Group of Bell-Northern Research in Montreal.

Ms. Payette was selected as an astronaut by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in June 1992 and underwent training in Canada. After basic training, she worked as a technical advisor for the MSS (Mobile Servicing System), the Canadian contribution to the International Space Station. In 1993, Ms. Payette established the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Group at the Canadian Astronaut Program. In addition, she served on the NATO International Research Study Group (RSG-10) on speech processing.

In preparation for a space assignment, Ms. Payette studied Russian and contributed to microgravity science experiments aboard various parabolic aircraft (KC-135, T-33, Falcon-20, DC-9) where she logged over 120 hours of reduced gravity flight time, both as experiment operator and test subject. In the fall of 1995, Ms. Payette undertook military jet training at the Canadian Air Force Base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where she obtained her captaincy and logged 95 hours on the Tutor CT-114 jet aircraft. In April 1996, Ms. Payette completed a deep-sea diving suit training program in Vancouver BC and was certified as a one-atmosphere diving suit operator (NEWTSUIT Level 2 Pilot).

Ms. Payette reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin two years of training and evaluation. Successful completion of this initial training will qualify her for various technical assignments leading to selection as a mission specialist on a Space Shuttle flight crew.


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