Robert Thirsk



Thirsk Sokol E20 21 crop

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).