Born in Québec city, Marc Garneau served from 1974 to 1983 as combat systems engineer on the HMCS Algonquin, instructor in naval weapon systems at the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Halifax and project engineer in naval weapon systems in Ottawa. Becoming a naval authority, he achieved the rank of Commander and Captain. Selected with five other candidates to form the first team of Canadian astronauts, he was seconded to the Canadian Astronaut Program from the Department of National Defence in February 1984 to begin astronaut training. From October 5 to 13, 1984, on board space shuttle Challenger, he flew as a payload specialist on mission STS-41G, thus becoming the first Canadian astronaut to be launched in orbit. Appointed Deputy Director of the Canadian Astronaut Program in 1989, he returned in space in May 1996 aboard Endeavour during mission STS-77, this time as a mission specialist in charge of the orbiter systems. During the flight, the crew deployed two satellites. Responsibilities of Marc Garneau were greatly enhanced, forcing him to master vast amount of technical data in order to be ready to promptly react in case of system failures. Garneau also operated the Canadarm to extract the satellite Spartan out of the suttle cargo bay.
From October 5 to 13, 1984, on board space shuttle Challenger, he flew as a payload specialist on mission STS-41G, thus becoming the first Canadian astronaut to be launched in orbit
Between missions, Garneau served as capsule communicator (CAPCOM), embodying the voice of Houston Control in communication with the shuttle crew in orbit. For his third flight (STS-97) in November 2000, again on board Endeavour, Marc Garneau was seated during the launch sequence just behind the shuttle commander and the pilot, acting in a way as a flight engineer in a commercial airplane. Again, Garneau operated the Canadarm during delicate extractions of huge solar panels out of the cargo bay, brought for the International Space Station (ISS), which he visited briefly. In total, Marc Garneau spent more than 26 days in orbit. In 2002, he was appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency, located at the Saint-Hubert airport.
Inducted June 6, 2001.
1980: Canadian Forces Decorations.
1984: Officer of the Order of Canada.
1997: NASA Exceptional Services Medal.
2002: Queen Elisabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.
2003: Companions of the Order of Canada