Steve MacLean (astronaut)

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Steven Maclean
Steve MacLean.jpg
Born (1954-12-14) December 14, 1954 (age 66)
NationalityFlag of Canada.svg Canadian
Space career
NRC/CSA Astronaut
Time in space
21d 16h 02m
Selection1983 NRC Group
MissionsSTS-52, STS-115
Mission insignia
Sts-52-patch.png STS-115 patch.png
Scientific career
ThesisOptical absorption of O2- ions in oxide lattices (1983)

Steven Glenwood MacLean FRCGS (born December 14, 1954) is a Canadian astronaut. He was the President of the Canadian Space Agency, from September 1, 2008 to February 1, 2013.[1][2]

He was born in Ottawa, Ontario, and is married to Nadine Wielgopolski of Hull, Quebec. They have three children. He enjoys hiking, canoeing, flying, parachuting and gymnastics. In 2013 he returned to physics research as an associate member of the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo.[3]


MacLean attended Merivale High School in Nepean, Ontario. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1977 and a doctorate in physics in 1983 from York University in Toronto. In 1977, he received the President's Award at York University (Murray G. Ross Award). He is a recipient of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council post graduate scholarship in 1980, two Ontario graduate scholarships, one in 1981 and the other in 1982, and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council postdoctoral fellowship in 1983.

He is an honorary fellow of Norman Bethune College at York University and president of the board of directors for the Mont Megantic Observatory project.

From 1974 to 1976, MacLean worked in sports administration and public relations at York University. From 1976 to 1977, he was a member of the Canadian National Gymnastics Team. He taught part-time at York University from 1980 to 1983. In 1983, he became a visiting scholar at Stanford University under Nobel Laureate Arthur Leonard Schawlow. He is a laser-physicist, and his research has included work on electro-optics, laser-induced fluorescence of particles and crystals and multi-photon laser spectroscopy.

MacLean (left) with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

MacLean served as a Mission Specialist on STS-115, which launched on September 9, 2006, and returned on September 21, 2006. He became the first Canadian to operate the robotic arm Canadarm2. On September 13, he performed his first spacewalk, a 7-hour EVA to activate the solar panels on the P3/4 truss – the second Canadian to do so, after Chris Hadfield.


In 1994, he received an honorary doctorate from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean in Quebec, York University, Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In September 2006, Steve MacLean Public School was opened in Ottawa, named after him. In 2010 he visited the school on the occasion of the principal's retirement. MacLean was chosen as one of the first six astronauts in December 1983. He began to do training in February 1984. From 1987 to 1993 MacLean worked as a program manager for CSVS. MacLean was the chief science advisor for the International Space Station from 1993 to 1994. He was also program manager for the Advanced Space Vision System in 1987 to 1993. MacLean is an honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. [4]


  1. ^ "Organization Profile – Canadian Space Agency". Canadian Space Agency. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  2. ^ "Steve MacLean Announces Plans to Leave the Canadian Space Agency". Canadian Space Agency. 2013-01-16. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  3. ^ York Univ. alumni, Faculty of Science, Steven MacLean,. Retrieved Aug. 25, 2021
  4. ^ "Listing of Fellows" (PDF). Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2014.

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