This morning in Toronto, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Jeremy Hansen unveiled Canada Post’s latest Canada 150 stamp, this in celebration of Canada’s most famous robotics accomplishment—the Canadarm.
Hansen was on-site at Glen Ames Senior Public School to unveil the stamp and meet with Grade 7 and 8 students from the school’s robotics club as they prepared to travel to California to compete in an international robotics competition. Students competing were tasked to design, build and program a robot made entirely of Lego to solve a real-world problem. The team came up with the PetPortion, a robot that manages a pet’s weight by automatically giving it the proper amount of food based on its weight and level of daily exercise.
Hansen also addressed the entire school and encouraged the next generation of Canadian innovators to pursue education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
SPACE & ROBOTICS
The Canadarm’s first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on Nov. 13, 1981. It manoeuvred astronauts, satellites and cargo over 30 years before it retired when the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. The Canadarm launched Canada’s close partnership with NASA on human space flight. Eight Canadian astronauts have flown in space, participating in 16 missions aboard either a space shuttle or on the International Space Station (ISS): Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, Chris Hadfield, Steve MacLean, Julie Payette, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason and Dave Williams.
Currently Canada has two active astronauts—Hansen and David Saint-Jacques—although two additional astronauts are expected to be announced this summer.
The Canadarm was instrumental in establishing Canada’s reputation for robotics innovation and led to a new generation of Canadian robotics on the ISS. It will inspire future generations of Canadian scientists and engineers as they develop new technologies that make the world a better, easier and safer place.
Each of the 10 stamps will celebrate an iconic moment in Canadian history since its centennial in 1967. These moments of great significance were chosen by Canada Post’s 12-member Stamp Advisory Committee.
The first stamp of the Canada 150 series was unveiled in Montréal on April 27 by Habitat 67 architect Moshe Safdie, and the previous stamp—this in celebration of the Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—was unveiled yesterday on Parliament Hill.
The remaining unveilings will take place on:
- May 9 in Toronto, Ont.;
- May 16 in Regina, Sask.;
- May 25 in St. John’s, Nfld.;
- May 30 in Iqaluit, Nunavut;
- May 31 in Winnipeg, Man.; and
- June 1 in Vancouver, B.C., where the program’s final two stamps will be unveiled.
The entire series will be available for purchase online and in post offices across the country on June 1 (although pre-ordering is open now).
With each stamp unveiling, videos with these notable Canadians, other key participants and archival footage will tell the story of that stamp subject on canadapost.ca/canada150.