In 1992, Sault Ste. Marie’s own Dr. Roberta Bondar made history when she became the first Canadian woman and the world’s first neurologist in space. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dr. Bondar’s groundbreaking mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery, the Royal Canadian Mint created a special limited-edition commemorative coin.
The coin, entitled “A View of Canada from Space” was publicly unveiled at a ceremony held at Sault College on November 1st, 2016. Dr. Bondar was in attendance, along with many of her friends and family members, as well as Mayor Provenzano, MP Terry Sheehan and Royal Canadian Mint President Hanington. Governor-General David Johnston (another Sault native and a childhood acquaintance of Dr. Bondar) offered well-wishes via video.
(Left to Right: MP Terry Sheehan, Mint President Sandra Hanington, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Mayor Christian Provenzano and Sault College Aviation student Oliver at the coin unveiling)
The coin itself was designed by Canadian artist Alexandra Lefort. It features a unique, convex shape and is believed to be the world’s first curved coin. It also includes glow in the dark effects that depict a view of North America at night as seen from space, with a particular focus on Canada. Dr. Bondar’s name, mission anniversary and the emblem of the space shuttle Discovery are inscribed on the outer band.
Made from 99.99% pure silver, the coin has a face value of $25 and is available for purchase from the Royal Canadian Mint website. A limited run of 8,500 coins have been minted. One of the coins is currently on display in the Civic Centre lobby (2nd level).
Over the course of her storied career, Dr. Roberta Bondar has always remained a steadfast champion for her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. Congratulations again Dr. Bondar on this well-deserved honour!