Salmon Arm’s space pioneer shares stories

A Canadian space pioneer’s memories are being preserved for future generations.

Former director general of the astronaut program at the Canadian Space Agency

Former director general of the astronaut program at the Canadian Space Agency

A Canadian space pioneer’s memories are being preserved for future generations.

The Okanagan Science Centre’s Community Memories project recently interviewed Bruce Aikenhead, who has nearly 40 years experience in aerospace engineering and astronaut training development.

“Bruce’s career as an engineer led him to work on illustrious projects such as the Avro Arrow, Project Mercury at NASA’s Langley Field, and the Canadarm for NASA’s space shuttle,” said Sandi Dixon, with the science centre.

“Additionally, he served as a project engineer for RCA’s ISIS-2 ionosphere research satellite, the Hermes communications research satellite and the High Altitude Research Project at McGill University.”

He concluded his career as director general of the astronaut program at the Canadian Space Agency, and received the Order of Canada for his contributions.

“Since his retirement to Salmon Arm, Bruce Aikenhead also played an integral role in the development of the Okanagan Science Centre’s space galleries and education programs,” said Dixon.

He joined the board of directors of the science centre in 1997, and designed, constructed and curated the Space for Space gallery and planetarium.

“Bruce has inspired many Canadians’ fascination with space and knowledge about Canada’s role in space exploration through his numerous public presentations, mentorships and creation of the galleries and planetarium,” said Dixon.

“The Community Memories project will capture and preserve the stories of Bruce’s career and pioneering experience in Canada’s space industry through, images, audio, video and text.”