Julie Payette was Teaching Assistant of my Computer Science CSC258 class at University of Toronto. So I am very excited to hear that she will be one of two Canadian astronauts to visit space station in 2009. (note: I found this cool YouTube video clip).
Few years ago (May 2003) I sent Julie a personal note via the Canadian Space Agency (which got accidentally misplaced) telling her how I remembered her when we were at UofT. In 2005, CSA found my misplaced note and Julie was very nice in sending me two autographed pictures (see above) which I’ve hung proudly on my wall.
P.S. I remember Julie as charming and cute but she was quite strict as a TA too. One day she even gave me an impromptu French test! as I wore a turtleneck with the word “monsieur” embroidered in the middle. I was lucky that I hadn’t totally forgotten what “monsieur” means from the months of Alliance Française classes I took in Hong Kong. :)
P.P.S. Here is a YouTube clip of a NASA Q&A with Julie Payette.
Sept 16, 2011 update: CBC News: “Astronaut Julie Payette, VANOC’s Furlong among Order of Canada recipients”
Jan 8, 2017 update: CBC Witness (1993) “Space For Four (1993)”