Bjarni Valdimar Tryggvason, the first and only Icelandic astronaut, died on April 5 at the age of 76. Bjarni was born in Reykjavík on September 21, 1945, but moved to Canada as a child and grew up in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.
He studied engineering physics, applied mathematics and fluid dynamics prior to being selected by the National Research Council of Canada in 1983 to be one of Canada’s first six astronauts. He served as a payload specialist with NASA’s STS-85 crew in August 1997, conducting tests on how fluids behave in space and evaluating a tool to protect cargo and experiments from vibrational disturbances.
Bjarni logged 11 days, 20 hours, 28 minutes and 7 seconds in flight and completed 185 orbits of Earth.
Canadian politician Marc Garneau, who was another of Canada’s original six astronauts with Bjarni, posted a tribute to his late friend on Twitter.
Condolences were also posted by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.