The Canadian Space Agency remembers Bjarni Tryggvason

News release

April 6, 2022 – Longueuil, Quebec

Former Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason has passed away at the age of 76.

Tryggvason was one of the original six Canadian astronauts selected in December 1983.

He flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on August 7, 1997, as a payload specialist. He spent over 11 days in space, where he successfully operated a Canadian technology he helped develop: the Microgravity Vibration Isolation Mount. Designed to isolate payloads from vibrations, this technology would later be adapted for the Canadian Microgravity Vibration Isolation Subsystem.

Tryggvason was an engineer, scientist, educator, test pilot and proud father. He applied the highest standard to everything he did and will be remembered by his CSA colleagues, friends and family for his humour, dedication and originality.

Among the awards and honours he received are the Canadian Space Agency Innovators Award, 2003; Order of the Falcon from Iceland; Doctorate of Philosophy (honoris causa), University of Iceland, 2000; Doctor of Science (honoris causa), Western University, 1998; NASA Space Flight Medal 1997; and numerous scholarships throughout his university years. Tryggvason was recently inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame (2020) and was an associate member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots.


"It is with profound sadness that I learned of the passing of Canadian astronaut Bjarni Tryggvason. Bjarni was one of our first astronauts, and he made important contributions to Canada's space program. I want to extend my sincere condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues. Pilot, meteorologist, researcher, professor and astronaut, Bjarni inspired a generation of Canadians to dream big and reach for the stars. I am eternally thankful to have known him."

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

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"I can’t believe my friend Bjarni Tryggvason is gone. We were both chosen as astronauts in 1983. He was the smartest engineer I ever met and a supremely skilled pilot. He taught me how to fly and patiently corrected me when I got it wrong. He was a fine human being. I miss him."


The Honourable Marc Garneau, Member of Parliament

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