Last updated on July 10th, 2020 at 04:02 pm
Last Updated on July 10, 2020 Posted by Colonial Acres Coins
In 1984 astronaut Marc Garneau became the first Canadian to enter space. The 35th anniversary of Garneau’s voyage is celebrated in a 25-cent tri-metallic coin which was released in 2019. This gorgeous coin is manufactured of brass, copper-nickel and bronze. The contrast of the metals brings this coin to life.
There is something special about commemorative coins and the history that they represent. More than that, the technology, symbolism and other special features of this coin are together such a fitting tribute of Garneau and the other pioneers of the space program that it will hold a distinct place in any coin collection. Here are some of the features you will find on this coin.
The most eye-grabbing detail of the coin is the three metals used in its construction. The centre of the coin is brass, representing the region of the atmosphere that meets the earth, called the troposphere. A ring of copper-nickel surrounds the brass, representing the uppermost region of the atmosphere where Garneau’s space shuttle orbited earth, called the thermosphere. The copper-nickel is ringed by bronze, representing outer space. The 35 maple leaves that border the coin are in recognition that it is the 35th anniversary of the voyage. Seeing the leaves spaced around the coin reminds a person of how short 35 years is and how far Canada has been able to progress because of pioneers such as Marc Garneau.
As a fitting tribute of the technology that was new at the time of Garneau’s mission, this coin is manufactured using a new technology that has allowed Royal Canadian Mint to integrate three metals into its design.
Rather than simply indicating the minted year, the coin is inscribed with the date range “1984 – 2019.” This way, the coin reminds everyone of the year of Garneau’s historic mission.
Taking a Closer Look at the History of this Event
Marc Garneau began his career in the navy as a combat systems engineer. His hard work and ability to design technological solutions to problems that he saw made him an acknowledged authority in his field. In December 1983 when the Canadian space program put together their first team of six astronauts, they asked Garneau to enter training. In October 1984, Garneau became the payload specialist for Challenger, an American space shuttle. As part of the mission, he performed experiments that were designed by Canadian researchers and was the first to test a new space vision system that would aid in operating the shuttle’s robotic arm.
Garneau served as the deputy director of the Canadian Astronaut Program starting in 1989 and continuing until he left to join the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1992. He has traveled on three space flights:
- Challenger in 1984
- Endeavour in 1996
- Endeavour in 2000
He left NASA in 2001 to serve as the Canadian Space Agency vice president, where he worked until 2005 when he left to run for public office. Throughout his career, Garneau has risen to positions of prominence due to his intelligence, hard work and willingness to find creative solutions for problems.
Although Garneau gets much-deserved accolades for his achievements, there have been many other dedicated Canadians who have made invaluable contributions. The work and sacrifices of so many add richness to the history of the first Canadian in space. Truly, honoring this event is about more than respecting Garneau — it is a remembrance of all the men and women who joined together to bring about something great.
In order to add this commemorative coin to your collection, contact us. Whether you are a life-long devoted collector or just getting into the intriguing world of coins, our staff can answer your questions and help you find the special pieces that you are looking for.