The tragic death of Bjarni Tryggvason, who is the sixth Canadian to visit space, has hit the world hard, he is reported to have died at 76.
In 1997 Tryggvason served as a Payload Specialist on a 12-day mission, known as the first of the seven Canadians to travel to space with the Canadian Space Agency to pass away.
Bjarni Tryggvason is one of the first six Canadian astronauts to fly on NASA’s space shuttle, died at the age of 76.
Tryggvason death news was reported on Monday (April 5), which was first announced online by former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, who trained at Tryggvason and was a member of NASA’s 1998 International Astronaut Candidate Panel.
“RIP Penguin. It was an honor to train and work with you,” Melvin wrote on Instagram on Wednesday (April 6). “Condolences to the family. Lots of love.”
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) subsequently issued a statement on Twitter confirming Trigwasson’s death, and stated that “It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we learn of the passing of former CSA astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason,” the agency wrote. “He upheld the highest standards in everything he did.”
Tryggvason’s only spaceflight was before training with Melvin. Tryggvason was selected by Canada’s National Research Council as one of the country’s first six astronauts in 1983 and launched in August 1997 as a payload specialist for NASA’s STS-85 crew.
The 12-day mission includes the deployment and recovery of a free-flying satellite (CRISTA-SPAS-2) that is studying changes in Earth’s atmosphere, and the now-externally-located Kibo module universe on the International Space Station in Japan, the predecessor of the teleoperated robotic system or robotic arm Discovery Agency (JAXA).
Tryggvason’s primary responsibility aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery was to operate and evaluate the Microgravity Isolation Mount (MIM), a small Canadian-developed instrument designed to correlate payloads and experiments with those caused by engine firings or crew activity interference is isolated. MIM, an upgraded version of a similar device installed and successfully deployed on Russia’s former Mir space station, uses magnetic actuators to levitate and isolate individual experiments. It was later modified for use on the International Space Station.
On the seventh day of the flight, Mission Control woke Tryggvason and his five crew members with the Beach Boys song “Good Vibrations” in honor of Tryggvason’s work at MIM.
“The fact that I conduct my own scientific experiments is actually pretty good,” Tryggvason said in a 2015 interview with Canadian news magazine Maclean’s. “I decided to study how liquids behave in space. There are a lot of experiments with liquids as elements. I ended up developing this electromagnetic levitation platform [and] flying on the Russian space station, flying in my flight [and] participating in another development, now on the space station.”
Landing near its launch site at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Tryggvason flew a total of 11 days, 20 hours, 28 minutes, 7 seconds while completing 185 orbits around the world.
Bjarni Valdimar Tryggvason was 76 years old at the time of death, and was born on September 21, 1945 in Reykjavik, Iceland, but spent his youth in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, Canada. He received a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia in 1972, followed by a graduate degree in Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, specializing in applied mathematics and fluid dynamics.
Tryggvason is an air transport pilot with over 4,500 hours of flying experience, including 1,800 hours as a flight instructor, who is actively engaged in aerobatics and has completed pilot exams in a Canadian Air Force jet trainer. Before becoming an astronaut, Tryggvason worked as a meteorologist in the Canadian Weather Service’s Cloud Physics Group and as a research assistant in industrial aerodynamics at the University of Western Ontario’s Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory.
In 1979, he was a visiting scholar at Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, and in 1980, he was a visiting scholar at North Queensland James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. From 1980 to 1982 he was a lecturer in applied mathematics at the University of Western Ontario.
When Tryggvason served as research officer for the National Research Council of Canada’s Low Speed Aerodynamics Laboratory, the council selected him to join Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, Steve MacLean, Ken Money and Robert Thirsk as members of its first astronaut team.
Prior to his own mission, Trigwasson received backup training for the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle STS-52 and served as a program engineer for the Space Vision System target spacecraft deployed from the mission in 1992.
A year after returning from space, Trigwasson joined the “Penguins,” the 18th astronaut candidate selected by NASA in 1998. The two-year basic training is designed to prepare Tryggvason for possible flight as a mission specialist, and is initially deployed as a crew representative at SAIL or Johnson Space Center’s Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, which is used to validate each The flight software mission of the mission.
Instead of going on to another space mission, however, Trigwassen left the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to work in the private sector. He returned to the CSA for four years before retiring in 2008, and subsequently became a visiting professor at the University of Western Ontario.
A member of the Canadian Aerospace Research Institute, Tryggvason received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1998, an honorary Doctor of Technology degree from the University of Iceland in 2000, and an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Victoria in 2005. Awarded for the 1997 launch He received the NASA Spaceflight Medal, the 2004 Canadian Space Agency Innovation Award and the Icelandic Falcon Knight Cross.
In 2003, Tryggvason and his seven fellow Canadian astronauts were issued stamps with their portraits from Canada Post. May his soul rest in peace.