She is the 29th Governor General and former Astronaut. The quotes below reveal a little bit about how Julie Payette thinks and how she does things.
1. If anything, when you’re up in space and you’re inside a space ship, which is your home, and without which you would not survive, you know that Earth is your home. This is the only place you can return. In fact we’re very meticulous. Part of our job is to maintain the spaceship. If we apply the same kind of model to Earth maybe we’d have a different outlook.
2. When I saw the Earth from above, personally, as a spacecraft operator, it certainly reinforced and drove home the fact that there’s one place where we can live right now. The seven billion of us are sharing a wonderful planet, and it’s an absolute privilege to see it from above.
3. The prerequisite that people have a scientific or engineering degree or a medical degree limits the number of female astronauts. Right now, still, we have about 20 per cent of people who have that prerequisite who are female. So hey, girls: Embrace the very fun career of science and technology. Look at computer science. That’s what I did.
4. I think it’s the entire privilege I had to represent my country. It’s not the going to space alone; it’s to be part of that endeavour and to contribute a very small part to a very important step toward pushing the frontier.
5. Almost everything I do when I approach an operational problem comes from the time I’ve been in space. It’s a way of organizing your thoughts. We use problem-solving; what we call “what-if-ing.” What if this happened? What would we do? We go over plan B, C, D, E, F, and whatever else, depending on the criticality of what we’re doing. This kind of thing can be applied almost everywhere, even at home.
6. A lot of people, I think, would love to see the earth from above, wear a spacesuit. Certainly, when I was a kid, I wanted to wear a spacesuit.
7. You’re less apprehensive when you know what to expect. Also, the first flight is very important in this performance-driven culture I work in; it establishes your reputation. If you don’t do well, it’s probably your last flight.
8. I really believe that, in 500 years, we will still remember the International Space Station, because it will have been the first time, really and truly, that nations put a lot of money, brains, resources, and effort together to build something peacefully, and to work together for the sole and unique purpose of furthering our knowledge and bringing it back to Earth for our mutual good.
9. When you’re a little different than others, it takes a little more time to fit in. If you really want to be there, there are no ingredients you need other than effort, perseverance and teamwork.
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