Longueuil, Quebec: After 204 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut David Saint-Jacques returned to Earth with his crewmates, Nasa astronaut Anne McClain and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko.
The crew’s Russian Soyuz capsule landed on the plains of Kazakhstan at 10:47 p.m. ET on June 24 (8:47 a.m. on June 25.
Between December 3, 2018, and June 24, 2019, the crew circled the globe 3,264 times, covering a distance of more than 139,000,000 kilometres. David conducted Canadian and international science experiments and technology demonstrations, supported critical operations and maintenance activities. He also became the fourth CSA astronaut to conduct a spacewalk, and the first Canadian to use Canadarm2 to catch a visiting spacecraft.
“I know I speak for all of Canada when I say how proud I am of David’s accomplishments in space. 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,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
“I am grateful for the privilege to represent Canada on the International Space Station and thankful for the people around the world who made this mission possible. It has been an incredible experience and has forever changed my perspective of our beautiful, fragile planet, and of what humanity is capable of accomplishing, when we work together. I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to experience this for myself and to share it with Canadians and people all over the world,” said David.
- David became the fourth CSA astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. On April 8, 2019, David spent six and half hours working outside the Station with NASA astronaut Anne McClain to accomplish several maintenance tasks;
- Was the first CSA astronaut to use Canadarm2 to capture the SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle on May 6, 2019;
- Conducted a number of international and Canadian science activities that contribute to the advancement of space exploration and improve our quality of life on Earth, including nine Canadian health science activities (seven experiments and two technology demonstrations);
- Connected with Canadians, particularly youth across the country through a wide variety of activities, including educational initiatives, contests, live video connections from space and amateur radio contacts (ARISS). David also joined Canada’s Prime Minister on February 28, 2019, during the official announcement of Canada’s participation in the next chapter of Moon exploration;