From space station to Rideau Hall: A timeline of Julie Payette's eventful life and career

Following an external workplace review that looked into allegations of harassment and creating a toxic work environment Julie Payette steps down as Governor General

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Julie Payette is an astronaut, pilot, engineer, and one of Canada’s shortest-reigning Governors General, appointed in 2017. She was born in Montreal on Oct. 20, 1963, and has had a distinguished and eventful life and career.

1980

Received a Canadian scholarship to attend the Atlantic College in Wales.

1986

Obtained a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from McGill University and started work as a system engineer with IBM Canada.

1990

Obtained a Master of Applied Science & Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.

1992

The Canadian Space Agency selected Payette to become an astronaut from 5,330 applicants. In preparation for a space mission assignment, Payette obtained her commercial pilot licence, studied Russian and logged 120 hours as a research operator onboard reduced gravity aircraft.

1996

Obtained her military pilot captaincy for a Snowbird jet at a Canadian Forces Base.

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1999

Payette went on her first flight into space as a crew member of STS-96, delivered four tons of supplies to the International Space Station.

2000

She became Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency

2003

Worked as a Capsule Communicator at NASA Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas.

2009

Served as the flight engineer of STS-127 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour on the 29th Shuttle mission to the International Space Station, her second time going into space.

2010

Receives Order of Canada.

2011

Undertook a fellowship as a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. That same year, was involved in a fatal collision in Maryland. After an eight-month investigation, police closed the case without laying charges. Was also charged with a second-degree assault while living in Maryland in 2011. The charges were dropped and later expunged.

2013

Became Chief Operating Officer of the Montréal Science Centre.

2017

On October 2, Payette became Canada’s 29th Governor General.

2021 

Gov.-Gen. Julie Payette resigns after a workplace review of Rideau Hall.

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