On June 25th Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, Anne McClain, and Oleg Kononenko landed in Kazakhstan after six months on the International Space Station. While David Saint-Jacques is a Canadian astronaut, Anne McClain is from NASA, and Oleg Kononenko is part of the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities.
After six and a half hours in the capsule, the three astronauts landed without incidents and were expected by around 200 people that made sure that the crew was in good shape. The only one that showed some indications that Earth’s atmosphere is a harsh place was the capsule; the high temperature produced by the re-entry left burn marks on it.
While McClain and Kononenko were fine, McClain even saying that she was fully prepared to repeat the experience, Saint-Jacques presented signs that he had been affected by the ride. The Canadian astronaut joked that ‘Gravity isn’t my friend’ and that he had yet to adjust to Earth and gravitation. After six months in space, Kononenko declared that he was glad for the weather, while Saint-Jacques was amazed by how the grass smelled.
The Canadian astronaut received accomplishments from officials
David Saint-Jacques, part of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), is the first Canadian astronaut to stay on the International Space Station since Chris Hadfield, whose expedition ended in 2013. As of now, David Saint-Jacques is a record setter as he is also the first Canadian to stay in space for 204 days.
Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, showed his appreciation and acclaimed David Saint-Jacques for his accomplishment. Bains declared that “not only did his journey on the International Space Station show our youth the rewards that come with dreaming big and reaching for the stars, but the scientific research David conducted will also push the limits of our understanding of the universe, as well as human health in space and on Earth.”
David Saint-Jacques’ mission on the ISS
Among the Canadian astronaut’s responsibilities was the spacewalk that lasted six and a half hours in April and used the Mobile Servicing System, Canadarm2, to space capture SpaceX Dragon capsule which contained supplies and equipment. David was the first Canadian astronaut to operate the robotic arm.
While in space, Saint-Jacques supervised various scientific experiments and held conferences for children across the country. After the expedition, the Canadian astronaut was eager to return to his country and see his family. But the return won’t be worry-free as there will be some physical challenges as a result of the long time spent in space.
Among them are blood circulation, muscle pain, and experiencing difficulties while walking because of the elongated spine. Therefore, David Saint-Jacques is going to take part in a rehabilitation program to adapt again to life on Earth. The Canadian Space Agency is in negotiations to send another Canadian astronaut on the International Space Station in the following years.
Bo has over six years experience as a teacher, advocate and speaker. He has a B.S. from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Human rights from Harvard University Graduate School.