[Julie Payette] [NASA Logo]
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Biographical Data

NAME: Julie Payette
CSA Astronaut

Born October 20, 1963, in Montreal, Quebec. Enjoys triathlon, skiing, racquet sports and scuba diving. Holds a multi-engine commercial pilot license with instrument and float 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). Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. Les Amies d'affaire du Ritz.

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, automatic speech recognition and the application of interactive technology to space. Between 1986 and 1988, Ms. Payette worked as a system engineer for IBM Canada. 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 and served as a technical specialist on the NATO International Research Study Group (RSG-10) on speech processing (1993-1996).

In preparation for a space assignment, Ms. Payette studied Russian and logged over 120 hours of of reduced gravity flight time aboard various parabolic aircraft (KC-135, T-33, Falcon-20, DC-9). In April 1996, Ms. Payette completed a deep-sea diving hard suit training program in Vancouver BC and was certified as a one-atmosphere diving suit operator. Ms. Payette obtained her captaincy on military jet at the Canadian Air Force Base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in February 1996. She has since obtained her military instrument rating and continues to fly regularly with the training squadron. Ms. Payette has logged more than 600 hours of flight time, including 150 hours on the Tutor CT-114 jet aircraft.

Ms. Payette reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1996 to begin mission specialist training. She completed initial astronaut training in April 1998 and was assigned to work technical issues for the Astronaut Office EVA/Robotics Branch. Ms. Payette is assigned as a mission specialist on the crew of STS-96 Atlantis, a 10-day logistics and resupply mission for the International Space Station. Launch is targeted for May 1999.


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