Clive Steeper in conversation with astronaut Robert Thirsk

In the latest guest-hosted episode of the Access to Inspiration podcast  Clive Steeper talked to engineer, physician, and former astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk about the preparation and training needed for astronauts to operate effectively on space missions, and how these skills are also relevant for leadership more generally.

Robert reflects on training for astronauts, non-technical skills in space missions, adapting back to life on Earth, providing healthcare on deep space missions, AI-enabled technologies for space exploration, and the benefits of the space programme for society.

Dr. Robert Thirsk was born and raised in western Canada. He received degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Bob also holds a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Bob has flown on two space missions as a member of the Canadian Space Agency’s astronaut corps. He first flew aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1996 with six international crewmates as part of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab Mission. His second flight in 2009 was a six-month expedition aboard the International Space Station. Bob and his five Station crew mates performed multidisciplinary research, robotic operations and maintenance of spacecraft systems and payloads.

Following his astronaut career, Bob served as a vice-president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and then as Chancellor of the University of Calgary. He remains in close contact with the Canadian Space Agency, his former employer, to pursue a leadership role for Canada in the delivery of remote health care to astronauts who will someday venture to deep space on daring missions of exploration. Bob is a strong promoter of an economy based upon exploration, innovation and collaboration. He encourages youth to build their dreams upon a foundation of advanced skills and lifelong learning.

Listen to the episode here or read the transcription.

Share this

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *