Author Guy Gavriel Kay and astronaut Chris Hadfield are among those listed as recipients of the Order of Canada Honour. Kay is being named a Member of the Order of Canada and Hadfield is being named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Director David Cronenberg, already a member, has been named a Companion to the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada was created in 1967 to celebrate the country’s 100th anniversary and is considered one of the country’s highest civilian honours.
Astronaut Wubbo Ockels (b.1946) died on May 18. Ockels was the first Dutch astronaut, flying on STS-61-A in 1985, the last successful mission of the Challenger. He was seconded to NASA by the European Space Agency for the flight. Ockels served on the SpaceLab 1 crew and has an asteroid named in his honor.
Astronaut Bill Dana (b.1930) died on May 6. Dana served in the Air Force before joining NASA in 1958. From 1960 through 1962, he was a pilot astronaut in the U.S. Air Force X-20 Dyna-Soar program and eventually flew the X-15 into space in 1966 and 1968, although as a pilot he didn’t receive astronaut wings. NASA eventually gave him his wings in 2005. He remained with NASA in various capacities for several years and is not the comedian of the same name who created astronaut character José Jimenez.
Astronaut and author William Pogue (b.1930) died on March 4. Pogue joined NASA in 1966 and served on the support crews for three Apollo missions. He was scheduled to serve as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 19 before the mission was cancelled, instead serving as pilot for Skylab 4, the last Skylab mission. After he left the astronaut corps, Pogue wrote the book How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space? and co-authored the science fiction novel The Trikon Deception with Ben Bova.
Astronaut Dale Gardner (b.1948) died on February 19. Gardner joined NASA in 1978 and made his first flight aboard Challenger flight STS-8. Gardner made a second flight on Discovery mission STS-51-A. He was scheduled to be on the first shuttle launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base before the use of that launch site was cancelled following the Challenger disaster. In 1986, he left NASA to return to the Navy.
Cosmonaut Valeri Kubasov (b.1935) died on February 19. Kubasov joined the Soviet space program in 1966 and was scheduled to fly on Soyuz 2, whcih was changed to an unmanned mission after the discovery of a faulty parachute. He was also supposed to fly on Soyuz 11, but was grounded for medical reasons. The Soyuz 11 capsule decompressed, killing its crew. Kubusov did fly on Soyuz 6 and 19 and served as the commander for Soyuz 36. The Soyuz 19 mission linked up with a US Apollo space capsule as part of the Apollo–Soyuz Test Project.
Mercury Astronaut Malcolm Scott Carpenter (b.1925) died on October 10. Carpenter flew reconnaissance missions for the Navy in Korea before being selected as part of the initial astronaut class by NASA. When Deke Slayton was grounded, Carpenter was moved forward in the flight rotation. He flew on Aurora 7 on May 24, 1962, the fourth American in space and the second to achieve orbit. His flight considered a success until the last moments when a mechanical problem caused him to splashdown 400 km beyond his planned landing zone. Two years later, he left NASA to join the Navy’s SEALAB program and, after leaving the Navy in 1969, he founded Sea Sciences, Inc. to help develop products from the oceans. Prior to his own flight, Carpenter uttered the phrase “Godspeed, John Glenn” just before Glenn’s Friendship 7 capsule was launched. Glenn is now the only living member of the Mercury 7.
Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, who was slated to serve as Commander of the International Space Station beginnning in March 2015, has announced his resignation. According to Lonchakov, he found a better job than working in space and will be officially discharged on September 14. Lonchakov oined the cosmonaut corps in 1997 and flew three spaceflights to the International Space Station. In 2001, he flew on STS-100 aboard Endeavour and in 2008, he flew on the 100th manned Soyuz mission. He has spent 200 days, 19 hours in space.
Astronaut C. Gordon Fullerton (b.1936) died on August 21. Fullerton was part of Astronaut Group 7, selected in 1969 and served on the support crews for the final four lunar missions. In 1977, he was assigned as a pilot on crew 1 under Fred Heise for the Shuttle Approach and Landing Test program, flying the Enterprise. Five years later, he served as pilot on STS-3 and later as commander for STS-51-F. Fullerton suffered a stroke in 2009 and died of complications from that stroke.
In Heinlein’s 1956 novel Time for the Stars, he described an experiment in which one identical twin was sent on a space mission while the other stayed at home. NASA has now announced that it will be using a set of twins to examine the effects of prolonged space flight on the human body. Astronaut Scott Kelly, veteran of two shuttle missions and a former ISS Commander, will spend a year aboard the ISS for NASA longest spaceflight ever. His brother, Mark Kelley, who flew four shuttle missions, including as commander of Endeavour‘s final flight, will remain on Earth as the control. Scott Kelly is scheduled to join the ISS crew in March 2014.