Yay! An interview! Despite my interviewee’s busy schedule, her prompt reply surprised me. She is the author of “Roberta Bondar: Canada’s First Woman in Space” and her name is Judy Wearing.
1. What started Ms. Bondar on the road to success?
She was a dedicated student with a passion for science; she worked hard and she took on summer jobs as a student that built her skills. She also gained varied experience and expertise.
2. What evidence is there that she was a risk taker?
A good question. Signing up to become an astronaut when she had the chance was risky. Not only is going into space risky, but she quit her established career, and took a big cut in pay to do it. She knew she might also be sacrificing family life to pursue this dream as well. In more recent years, she has written a photographic book about deserts, and that entailed entering some territories in the world where there is a great deal of conflict. They needed armed guards and were aware of risk – all to take some photos of the desert.
3. As a result of her work, how is the world different? How significant is her impact on the world? (In your point of view)
I think Roberta Bondar has had an impact in several ways, but her biggest is in being a role model for Canadian women. Over an extended period of time, Bondar showed us what a great woman is, not just clever and competent and accomplished, but also passionate, and kind and generous with herself – thousands of school children in my generation had Roberta Bondar give a speech at their school. Her passion for the Earth is contagious.
4. What were some dramatic obstacles she faced?
Being Canadian, she had little hope of pursuing her dream of being an astronaut, and it is lucky that she was at the right stage in her life (and just happened to see the ad in the newspaper) when Canada started its space program and invited people to apply. While it isn’t dramatic, being a woman was an obstacle, in that she has had to make tough choices about family, as many career oriented women do.
5. Where do you think she find the motivation to keep going when times are rough?
I can’t answer this. It is individual. She is certainly passionate – that never wavered. She has strong family support from parents and siblings. Generally, I think that something drives us human beings to keep going – an inner strength, and some of us have more of it. Perhaps it is just stubbornness.
6. How do you think she felt emotionally, mentally, and physically when she was in space?
Reading her words about how she felt when she first saw the Earth – I’d say she was blown away with awe. Being in space is tough, mentally and physically, but she was well trained and well prepared and well suited, so she focused on her work and got the job done.
7. How would you describe Ms. Bondar’s personality?
Balanced, dedicated, passionate, competent, scientific, determined, adventurous, and curious.