Linking strategy

Anxious crowd watches the Canadian Space Agency as David Saint-Jacques manages to soar into space

The Canadian was on the first manned launch since a rocket failure forced a Soyuz capsule carrying two astronauts to abort and make an emergency landing in October

Content of the article

LONGUEUIL, Que. – As David Saint-Jacques flew into space on Monday, retired astronaut Robert Thirsk clinically explained the process to a large crowd of Canadian Space Agency employees and guests.

Content of the article

It was only after the spacecraft safely entered orbit about nine minutes later, eliciting the first applause from an audience watching a live stream from NASA, that Thirsk admitted to having some concerns before the launch about the Canadian astronaut mission.

His former colleague was on the first manned launch since a rocket failure forced a Soyuz capsule carrying two astronauts to abort and make an emergency landing in October. Russia briefly suspended launches to investigate before giving the mission the green light on November 1.

“I think I was more anxious today than at a typical Soyuz launch due to the launch abandonment in October,” said Thirsk, the first Canadian to fly aboard a Soyuz capsule, in an interview.

Russian Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft carrying members of International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 58/59, Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA Astronaut Anne McClain and Agency David Saint-Jacques space station, takes off towards the ISS from the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome leased by Russia on December 3, 2018.
Russian Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft carrying members of International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 58/59, Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA Astronaut Anne McClain and Agency David Saint-Jacques space, takes off towards the ISS from the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome leased by Russia on December 3, 2018. Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / Getty Images

“But I trust the Russian colleagues… and they made the right decisions. And today we have seen complete success.

As Saint-Jacques became the ninth Canadian to go to space, people from across the country connected with the Canadian Space Agency to witness the historic flight of Saint-Jacques.

Canadian astronauts Bob Thirsk and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons watched astronaut David Saint-Jacques' launch to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan at Canadian Space Agency Headquarters on Monday, December 3, 2018 in Saint-Hubert, Que. .
Canadian astronauts Bob Thirsk and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons watched astronaut David Saint-Jacques’ launch to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan at Canadian Space Agency Headquarters on Monday December 3, 2018 in Saint-Hubert, Que. . Photo by Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

Former astronaut Dave Williams attended a launch party at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto, while in Halifax Mi’kmaq students, educators and families gathered at the Discovery Center to watch. Saint-Jacques holds a special place in the community: it has adopted the Mi’kmaq name, Tapit, and it carries into space what the Mi’kmaq describe as spiritual gifts.

By the end of his 6.5-month space mission, Saint-Jacques, 48, will have set a record for the longest space travel for a Canadian – a record currently held by Thirsk.

Content of the article

We apologize, but this video failed to load.

But he won’t have much time to dwell on this feat. On board the station, Saint-Jacques will conduct a number of scientific experiments, including research into the provision of remote medical care and the effects of microgravity on the body.

Thirsk is no stranger to long-duration space flights. He embarked on his own six-month trip to the space station in 2009, just weeks after Saint-Jacques joined the Astronaut Corps, and he spent more time in space than any other Canadian, with 206 days to his credit.

Thirsk, 65, said he advised Santiago not to forget to take time for himself.

The Soyuz-FG rocket thruster with the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, takes off from the Russian Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Monday, December 3, 2018.
The Soyuz-FG rocket thruster with the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, takes off from the Russian Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Monday, December 3, 2018. Photo by Dmitri Lovetsky / AP Photo

“What he’s doing right now is amazing – very few people have done it yet. So take the time to stop and think about what you are doing for Canada, for humanity, ”said Thirsk. “Look out the window, without a camera, just look at the planet and think about the big picture. “

Content of the article

One of Canada’s newest astronauts, Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, smiled broadly as the rocket carrying Saint-Jacques launched. She later said she was taken aback by her own reaction to seeing her coworker make the dream of a lifetime come true.

David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, a member of International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 58/59, gestures as his spacesuit is tested before launch aboard the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome rented by Russia in Kazakhstan on December 3, 2018.
David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, a member of International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 58/59, gestures as his spacesuit is tested before launch aboard the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome leased by Russia in Kazakhstan on December 3, 2018. Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP / Getty Images

“I know it’s something that means a lot to him, his family and the team that brought him there,” she said.

But Sidey-Gibbons, selected for the space program in 2017, is excited about the prospect of what the future of exploration may hold – going beyond lower Earth orbit and into distant space missions.

“Space is changing so quickly and I hope Canada will participate more than ever in international programs for the future,” she said. “We don’t know where we’re going to go or what we’re going to find, but it’s going to be interesting.”


Source link