A new Canadian record

Canada isn’t usually the first country that pops to mind when people think of the international space program. Countries like the US, Russia, China, and even France and the EU tend to come up before Canada does. Without the fame of the Canadarm, the robotic arm that Canada designed for the Shuttle, and the new version for the ISS, its possible that people outside Canada wouldn’t even know we have a space program.

But the fact is, we do have a program, and several current active astronauts with the US Shuttle program, including one thats currently upon STS-118, Dave Williams. Williams set a Canadian record for spacewalks this past week, with 3 different EVA’s over the course of the week. Even with two of the EVA’s shortened, one due to small tears in the glove of his space-walking partner Clay Anderson and the other to get Endeavour ready to return to Earth a day early in anticipation of Hurricane Dean hitting mission control in Houston, Williams not only managed to set the record for the number of separate EVA’s at 3, but also the total hours in space by a Canadian at almost 18 hours, bettering previous record holder Chris Hadfield‘s time of nearly 15 hours over 2 spacewalks.

Steve MacLean, Canada’s astronaut-in-chief noted that the record isn’t likely to stand long. “What such a record shows is our involvement in this (space) program” MacLean said in response the new record, highlighting Canada’s increasing role.

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