Youth Canada

Out of This World: The Canadian Space Society Conference

25-02-2009 by Laura Drudi

Out of This World: The Canadian Space Society Conference

The Canadian Space Society Conference was held at McGill University and hosted by Students for the Exploration and Development of Science (SEDS) from McGill. It was an opportunity to network with experts in the aerospace industry, and to meet students from all over Canada with the same passions and interests.

The conference included panels on aerospace medicine, aeronautical engineering, and space commercialization that were held during the day. The former Canadian astronaut, Marc Garneau, then gave the evening banquet keynote speech. The banquet hall was filled with around one hundred students listening attentively to Marc Garneau’s advice for us students pursuing a career in the aerospace industry, and to some of us wanting to become an astronaut.

After meeting Marc Garneau, and networking with aerospace physicians and physiologists, I realize that my goal of becoming an aerospace physician is getting closer to being achieved with every passing year. I hope to be student, a researcher, and an explorer for the rest of my life. My goals for the future are many, but I hope to pioneer the road to lunar habitation, Mars exploration, and whatever lies beyond. I hope to participate in the NASA Academy at AMES this summer, attend the International Space University, and complete an aerospace/internal medicine residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Finally, I look forward to applying to the astronaut-training program later in my career and accomplishing a dream that began at the age of nine.

I tilt my head towards the night sky, as I have done since a young age, and I tell myself: “One day… one day I’m going up!” I am simply filled with humility to discover what lies ahead, and I hope that I can be one of the few Canadians to embark on a space shuttle and venture beyond the reaches of gravity.

Photo: Laura Drudi with Marc Garneau, Canada’s first astronaut.

LAURA DRUDI is a first year medical student at McGill University. She conducts research, the president of the Aerospace Medicine Association, and enjoys extreme sports such as skydiving and scuba diving.