Editor’s note: This story previously stated Marc Garneau travelled to the moon. In fact, he was the first Canadian in space and did not go to the moon.
A group of seniors from the Manoir Westmount residence were taken for an out-of-this-world trip down memory lane by federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Friday.
Garneau stopped by to talk about the historic moon landing that many of them witnessed first-hand.
The minister’s visit was, by no coincidence, on Friday, July 19. It was the day before the anniversary of when the first human set foot on the moon.
“I don’t know if you remember that night,” Garneau asked.
In response, the room filled with “oh yes,” while many chuckled.
“I do too,” Garneau replied with a smile.
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Garneau, a former astronaut, recounted the time he became the first Canadian to travel to the space in 1984.
“I felt a certain amount of pressure. Am I ready? Have I trained enough?” he confessed.
“All those thoughts are going through your mind, including very mundane things like, ‘Did I pay the bills?'” he said of his thoughts during the two-and-a-half-hour wait in the shuttle seat on the launch pad before lift-off.
He also spoke about Canada’s role in NASA’s Lunar Gateway project.
Canada is contributing a smart robotic system to the Gateway, a small space station in lunar orbit.
Garneau says commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 with seniors helps enrich our collective memory of the event.
“Many of them remember it extremely well,” Garneau said. “They can all vividly recall watching their televisions or listening on the radio and wanted to relive it because I think it was one of the greatest moments of the 20th century.”
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