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Roberta Bondar

November 3, 2016 by Speakers' Spotlight

25 Years After Discovery Mission, Mint Issues Roberta Bondar Coin

Dr. Roberta Bondar was the first Canadian woman to fly in space. An astronaut, physician, and photographer, Dr. Bondar expanded the horizons of millions when she joined the space shuttle Discovery for its 1992 mission. Dr. Bondar’s highly motivational talks–punctuated by her stunning photographs–focus on change, social responsibility, and our environment. This week, the Canadian mint unveiled a new coin in Roberta’s honour, that’s even — appropriately — glow-in-the-dark:

Canada will be commemorating Roberta Bondar, the country’s first female astronaut, with a glow-in-the-dark coin.

Bondar captured the imaginations of Canadians in 1992 when she flew in space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery as a member of Mission STS-42. She was also the first neurologist to travel to space.

The silver, curved coin is believed to be the world’s first, and was unveiled Tuesday by Dr. Bondar and Royal Canadian Mint president Sandra Hanington at a ceremony in Bondar’s hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

“My view fromDiscovery 25 years ago forever changed my view of Earth and instilled in me a commitment to protect this magnificent planet,” Bondar said, “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.”

“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,” she said.

Canadian artist Alexandra Lefort designed the coin, which the mint said 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 it includes a miniature depiction of the space shuttle Discovery, as it appeared on the mission crest of STS-42 crew members.

The 2017 $25 Fine Silver Coin – A View of Canada from Space has a limited mintage of 8,500 and retails for $159.95.

CBC.ca/November, 2016