Get Fit for Space Challenge with Bob Thirsk (Get Fit for Space) - 11.22.16
The Get Fit for Space Challenge with Bob Thirsk (Get Fit for Space) is a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) sponsored activity which invites Canadian citizens to celebrate the historic mission of Canada’s first Expedition along with crewmember Dr. Bob Thirsk, and to promote healthy living amongst Canadian citizens by tracking fitness data using a pedometer; allowing the citizens to interact with Canada’s space program via innovative multimedia. Science Results for Everyone
Astronaut to Canada: Get fit! When Bob Thirsk, MD, became the first Canadian to launch to the space station, he issued a fitness challenge to his fellow citizens – run, walk, cycle or swim the equivalent of the 340 km or 211 mile distance from Earth to the station. Participants entered their distances on the Canadian Space Agency’s web site. Using photos, live downlinks, podcasts and other media, Thirsk introduced participants to his out-of-this-world home, encouraging them to become more involved in Canada’s space program as well as promoting healthier living. Thousands of Canadians joined Thirsk in celebrating his historic mission. Experiment Details
Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Saint-Hubert, Quebec, Canada
ParticipACTION, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sponsoring Space Agency
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
ISS Expedition Duration
April 2009 - March 2010
Expedition 19/20 was the first time “Get Fit for Space” was performed on-orbit.
- The Get Fit for Space Challenge with Bob Thirsk (Get Fit for Space) was developed by CSA to promote healthy living amongst Canadian citizens via physical fitness activities.
- Get Fit for Space provided Canadians with the opportunity to celebrate the historic mission of Canada’s first Expedition with crewmember Dr. Bob Thirsk, the first Canadian to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.
To celebrate Canada's first Expedition mission, the Canadian Space Agency challenged their citizens to “Get Fit for Space with Bob Thirsk,” the first Canadian to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. Canadian citizens were provided the opportunity to engage in activities such as running, walking, cycling and swimming, as they prepared to blast off and reach new fitness heights along with Canada's space program!
Participants would sign up for the challenge on the Canadian Space Agency’s website, and receive a “Get Fit for Space” pedometer given away to the first 10 000 people to enroll in the program. Participants would enter their fitness data on CSA’s web site as they “virtually” traveled the 340 km to the ISS. ParticipACTION’s role was to provide content for the website and other promotional materials, donate pedometers and provide support with the development and distribution of the PSAs supporting the program.
Dr. Thirsk virtually met the participants at the Airlock, invited them in, and provided a personal tour of his off-world home. Over the course of the long-duration mission, participants were allowed to interact with Dr. Thirsk through photos, live weekly mission downlinks, media events, podcasts, in-flight illustrations and other innovative multimedia. In addition, Dr. Thirsk delivered a "Get Fit for Space" challenge to the nation and broadcasted a personal message to the Canadian public from the ISS on special occasions.
While Expeditions 19/20 and 21/22 took place on the ISS, it was supported by many people on the ground. This historic mission was of importance and relevance to all Canadians. As Dr. Thirsk executed his mission on the ISS, Canadian citizens were given the opportunity to become more involved in Canada's space program.
Get Fit for Space allowed crewmember, Bob Thirsk, to introduce the next generation of explorers to the space environment.
From an educational perspective, space exploration missions both inspire students, young and old, and motivate them to choose advanced studies and careers in the sciences and engineering. Participants were given the opportunity to directly contribute to Canada's space program, while enhancing their own studies and career prospects.
Operational Requirements and Protocols
The “Get Fit for Space” challenge required registration and the use of pedometers to record the number of steps taken by the participants. Audio and video capabilities were required to exchange various multimedia activities.
Canadian citizens had to sign up for the “Get Fit for Space” challenge via CSA’s website. This gave them access to a pedometer, which was utilized to count their steps. Participants could also interact with Dr. Thirsk through photos, live weekly mission downlinks and other innovative multimedia.
Decadal Survey Recommendations
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Dr. Bob Thirsk together with his son Elliot is inviting Canadians to take the "Get Fit for Space" challenge. Photo courtesy of CSA.
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