Robert Thirsk, is a Canadian engineer, physician and former Canadian Space Agency astronaut.
Born on 17 August 1953 in western Canada, Robert Thirsk studied mechanical engineering at the University of Calgary and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Thirsk also holds a doctorate in medicine from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Thirsk was selected as a member of the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut corps in 1983. During his 28-year career, Bob received training in space shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) systems and developed skills in spacewalking, robotic operations and the Russian language. He served as crew commander for two space mission simulations: the seven-day CAPSULS mission in 1994, and the 11-day NEEMO 7 submarine mission in 2004. He served as a reserve astronaut on two space missions — a space shuttle mission in 1984 and a Soyuz mission to the ISS in 2005.
Thirsk was the proud chancellor of the University of Calgary from 2014 to 2018. He is a member of the Order of British Columbia and an Officer of the Order of Canada. He holds the Canadian records for most time spent in space (204 days 18 hours).