Born In: Reykjavík, Iceland
Bjarni Tryggvason was a former Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut who served as a Payload Specialist on Space Shuttle mission STS-85, a mission to study changes in the Earth’s atmosphere. He had over 4,000 hours of flight experience and was a part of several major space missions undertaken by the CSA and the National Research Council (NRC). He was one of Canada's original six astronauts and was trained as a backup payload specialist for the CANEX-2 set of experiments. He also served as the project engineer for the Space Vision System Target Spacecraft on Mission STS-52. Born in Iceland, he grew up in Vancouver and began his career as a meteorologist with the cloud physics group at the Atmospheric Environment Service in Toronto. His association with the NRC began when he joined the Low Speed Aerodynamics Laboratory in Ottawa. While researching on the sinking of the Ocean Ranger oil rig, he designed and led the aerodynamics tests as a part of the NRC team investigating this case. Following this he was selected as one of the six Canadian astronauts. Before embarking on a career as an astronaut he used to teach graduate courses on structural dynamics and random vibrations as a part-time lecturer. After his retirement, he returned to teaching.
Also Known As: Bjarni Valdimar Tryggvason
Died At Age: 76
Spouse/Ex-: Lilyanna Zmijak (divorced)
children: Lauren Stephanie Chironne, Michael Kristjan
Born Country: Iceland
City: Reykjavik, Iceland
education: University of Western Ontario, University of British Columbia
Bjarni Tryggvason was born on September 21, 1945, in Reykjavík, Iceland. He received his primary education from schools in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.
He later completed a postgraduate work in engineering with specialization in applied mathematics and fluid dynamics at the University of Western Ontario.
In 1972, Bjarni Tryggvason was appointed as a meteorologist with the cloud physics group at the Atmospheric Environment Service in Toronto where he worked till 1973.
During this time Tryggvason also started teaching as a guest research associate, first at Kyoto University, Japan, in 1978, followed by James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.
He returned to the University of Western Ontario as a lecturer in applied mathematics in 1979, and held this position till 1982. After leaving this teaching position, he accepted an offer to join the Low Speed Aerodynamics Laboratory at the National Research Council (NRC) as a Research Officer.
In 1981, he started teaching graduate courses on structural dynamics and random vibrations as a part-time lecturer at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.
In February 1982, the Ocean Ranger oil rig sank. He was part of the NRC team which investigated the tragedy. Tryggvason designed and led the aerodynamics tests, which established the wind loads acting on the rig.
Bjarni Tryggvason was selected as one of the original six Canadian astronauts in December 1983, and trained as a backup payload specialist to Steve MacLean for the CANEX-2 set of experiments, which flew on Mission STS-52 from October 22 to November 1, 1992.
Bjarni also served as the principal investigator for several projects, including the development of the Large Motion Isolation Mount (LMIM) which flew numerous times on NASA KC-135 and DC-9 aircraft; the Microgravity vibration Isolation Mount (MIM) which operated on the Russian space station, Mir, from April 1996, until January 1998, to support several Canadian and US experiments in material science and fluid physics; and of the MIM-2 which flew on STS-85 in August 1997.
As the originator and technical director, he played a key role in the early development phase of the Microgravity Vibration Isolation Subsystem (MVIS) which was developed for the European Space Agency Fluid Science Laboratory by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).
In 2001, he took a leave from the CSA and worked in the private sector till 2003. He returned temporarily to work at the CSA in 2004, and retired in June 2008.
Bjarni Tryggvason was part of the NRC team assembled to study the sinking of the Ocean Ranger oil rig. He designed and led the aerodynamics tests, which established the wind loads acting on the rig.
Bjarni Tryggvason received the NASA Space Flight Medal in 1997.
He was the proud recipient of three Canadian Space Agency Innovators Awards.
Bjarni Tryggvason was married to Lilyanna Zmijak, but the couple later parted ways. He is survived by two children, a son, Michael Kristjan, and a daughter, Lauren Stephanie Chironne.
Bjarni Tryggvason died on April 5, 2022. He was 76.
How To Cite
People Also Viewed