When the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development m-ade the announcement today as to which Canadian astronaut of Canada’s two who would be going to space first, it came as no surprise.
David Saint-Jacques is an engineer, astrophysicist and family doctor. The latter certainly helped as Canada has invested in becoming a leader in space based medical research.
Perhaps the age difference between the two astronauts had a very small role to play in the decision. Saint-Jacques is 46 and six years older than Canada’s other eminently qualified astronaut, Jeremy Hansen.
On being selected Saint-Jacques said “today, I stand on the shoulders of all the astronauts who came before me. They inspired me, they were my role models. They sparked my curiosity about space and made me want to experience spaceflight for myself. Space exploration is the next step for humanity, and I am proud to be part of it. I would like to thank the Canadian Space Agency for giving me this incredible opportunity. I am humbled to represent Canada on this mission and promise to give it my very best.”
Saint-Jacques will launch in November 2018 on a six month long-duration mission on a Russian Soyuz rocket and will be a member of Expedition 58/59. This will be his first mission and the 17th spaceflight for Canadian astronaut.
In introducing Saint-Jacques minister Bains said “eight distinguished Canadian astronauts have been to space, six of them to the International Space Station. These men and women have captured our imagination, motivated us to work and study harder, and inspired us to be our best. Starting in August our next Canadian astronaut, David Saint-Jacques, will begin training for his mission. He is part of a new generation of Canadian astronauts that will continue our nation’s proud history in human space flight and prepare for exploration beyond the Space Station. Our government is proud of its commitment to science and its world class space industry by providing in Budget 2016 up to $379 million over eight years towards the Canadian Space Agency’s partnership with the International Space Station.”
Meet David Saint-Jacques