Canadian astronaut holds final media briefing aboard ISS after more than 6 months in space
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques said aboard the International Space Station on Wednesday that after he returns to Earth in five days, he’ll focus on reacquainting with some of the everyday pleasures of life while readjusting to his regular environment.
Saint-Jacques, 49, took questions from reporters at the Canadian Space Agency, in his final media briefing before departing the ISS. He said the first thing he plans to do once he lands is to call his wife, Veronique. He also might want to spend time in his swimming pool as he works at going from microgravity to the full tug of Earth on his body.
“On the one hand, I have learned to fly,” he said. “[But] I’m going to need to learn to walk again.”
Saint-Jacques said that, while he has enjoyed his time on the space station, there are things he misses, even just the wind on his face.
“Here, of course, we don’t have any wind, so I miss that,” he said. “The other day I saw the picture of a campfire, and that really struck me.”
Of course, Saint-Jacques said, he’ll also miss experiences he’s had on the ISS as well.
“I’m going to miss, of course, the view from the cupola. Like, I just saw Egypt. So the view of Earth, its beauty, so impressive, its grace, and the emptiness. This little blue halo and this feeling of … the strength, but also it’s how fragile it is, and this sense of privilege to represent everyone and have this incredible luck and opportunity. I’m going to miss that. and, of course, the team.”
Saint-Jacques blasted off to the ISS on Dec. 3 for his first mission. He had a lot of memorable firsts: he conducted his first spacewalk on April 8 and used Canadarm 2 for the first time to capture a SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle in May.
On Tuesday, the CSA tweeted a video of Saint-Jacques explaining what he was packing ahead of his return to Earth.
Video: CSA/NASA pic.twitter.com/2n5xBc9n0f
— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) June 18, 2019
While aboard the space station, he has conducted several experiments and spoken with children across Canada.
He’s scheduled to undock from the space station at 7 p.m. ET on June 24. Deorbit of the Soyuz capsule is expected at 9:55 p.m. and landing is expected at 10:48 p.m. in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
Canada’s next astronaut will be Jeremy Hansen, who is to head to space sometime in the coming years.
Sources: • CBC
Featured Image: NASA