International Microgravity Laboratory 1 (IML-1) was the first in a series of Space Shuttle flights dedicated to fundamental materials and life sciences research. To commemorate Dr. Roberta Bondar's participation as a Payload Specialist in the mission, the Canadian Space Agency has issued a commemorative insignia to be worn on Dr. Bondar's flight suit.
The rod and serpents of Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine, at the top of the crest, represent Dr. Bondar's medical background as a neurologist. The red maple leaf, gradually transforming into the Space Shuttle, signifies Canada's significant partnership in the mission. Thirteen Canadian space physiology experiments were performed by the IML-1 crew during the mission.
The shuttle is shown in orbit above a green Earth, symbolic of the terrestrial application of space research. The three Great Lakes (left to right: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron) represent the location of Dr. Bondar's hometown, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
The design of the insignia was developed by Roberta Bondar and her sister Barbara Bondar and expresses Dr. Bondar's personal feeling toward her mission. The artistic rendering was interpreted by Sault Ste. Marie science teacher and artist Susan Chow.