Canada’s newest astronaut, David Saint-Jacques, gave his first media interview since arriving on board the International Space Station (ISS). Saint-Jacques said it has been a bit of an adjustment learning how to live in microgravity, but expressed there have also been moments that were very moving.
"Then there was our first sunrise on orbit, and that was quite an emotional moment. As I looked out the window, this little blue crescent started to get brighter and brighter,” said Saint-Jacques. He is one of the lucky few who have had the opportunity to look back on the Earth from space and see our planet from this completely new perspective. Astronauts who have viewed the Earth from space often report overwhelming emotion and identify with humankind and the planet as a whole, a phenomenon known as the “Overview Effect” (White, 1987).
“I realized, wow, this is actually the curve of the Earth,” said Saint-Jacques. “That first sight, that first sunrise, I will never forget."
David Saint-Jacques blasted off to the International Space Station on Monday, December 3rd with his crewmates, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and American astronaut Anne McClain. While living and working on board the ISS for the next six and a half months, they will conduct many scientific experiments, including testing out a new Canadian technology.
The new technology is a Canadian Space Agency smart shirt called the ‘Bio-Monitor.’ These shirts are designed to record astronauts’ vital signs and send information to the ground so scientists and doctors on Earth can monitor their health as they orbit the planet. Testing out the Bio-Monitor is just one of many scientific experiments which David Saint-Jacques will be conducting while living on the station.
To learn more about David Saint-Jacques’ mission aboard the ISS, check out this link:
Canadian Space Agency. (2018, November 29). Bio-Monitor: Keeping an eye on astronauts’ vital signs. Retrieved from http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/sciences/bio-monitor.asp
Canadian Space Agency. (2018, November 29). New Canadian health technology heads to the International Space Station. Retrieved from http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/iss/news.asp
Canadian Space Agency. (2018, December 10). LIVE – CSA astronaut David Saint-Jacques answers questions from media [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfB7aSrlTi0