Dave Williams | Astronaut and Aquanaut

Dave Williams | Astronaut and Aquanaut

Dive in with Canadian Astronaut Dave Williams as he shares adventures in training underwater as an aquanaut.

Dave was an emergency physician before the Canadian Space Agency selected him as one of four successful candidates from a field of 5330 applicants to begin astronaut training in 1992. He completed basic training, and in May 1993, was appointed manager of the Missions and Space Medicine Group within the Canadian Astronaut Program. In 1998, he participated in STS-90 as a mission specialsit aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. During the 16-day flight, called Neurolab, the seven-person crew served as both experiment subjects and operators for 26 individual life science experiments.

From July 1998 until September 2002, Dave Williams held the position of Director of the Space and Life Sciences Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. In October 2001, he became an aquanaut through his participation in the joint NASA-NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) NEEMO 1 mission, a training exercise held in Aquarius, the world's only underwater research laboratory. During this seven-day exercise, Dave became the first Canadian to have lived and worked in space and in the ocean.

He was a mission specialist on STS-118, the 119th Space Shuttle flight, the 22nd flight to the International Space Station, and the 20th flight for Endeavour. During the mission, the crew successfully added a truss segment, a new gyroscope and an external stowage platform to the Station. Dave took part in three of the four spacewalks, the highest number of spacewalks performed in a single mission. He spent 17 hours and 47 minutes outside, a Canadian record.
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