Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth

McClain inside Dragon 2 with Little Earth and Ripley – via NASA McClain inside Dragon 2 with Little Earth and Ripley – via NASA
Sandra Phillips | 28 June, 2019, 04:53

The native of Saint-Lambert, Que., has set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days.

The Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-11 undocked from the ISS on early Tuesday morning and landed three hours later from the orbiting lab. Anne McClain of the United States and David Saint-Jacques of Canada completed their maiden flights, while for Oleg Kononenko it was his fourth mission in space.

Saint-Jacques' mission began on December 3, when he was part of the first crewed Soyuz mission following a rocket mishap that forced a spacecraft carrying two astronauts to abort and make an emergency landing last October.

In April, the 49-year-old Saint-Jacques made a spacewalk, the duration of which amounted to six and a half hours, he also conducted the "space grip" the cargo ship SpaceX Dragon using the Canadarm2 for the first time a canadian astronaut was ruled by robotic arms to perform this maneuver.

The engineer, astrophysicist and family doctor also oversaw science experiments and had numerous discussions with children across the country during his mission.

Americans Nick Hague and Christina Koch and Russia's Alexey Ovchinin remain aboard the space station. David Saint-Jacques was reported to have feared the worst during re-entry.

Their journey back to Earth lasted more than six hours.

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When the crew established contact with search and rescue teams immediately prior to planting, they said that they are fine.

NASA described the landing as "picture perfect" as the capsule descended in Kazakhstan at 10:47 p.m. ET. Astronauts were offered water and fresh fruit as they sat in the chairs.

The astronaut's return was celebrated by Canada's Governor General Julie Payette, who is a former astronaut. In a tweet she said: "We are so glad that you are safely back". Congratulations on the remarkable work aboard the worldwide space station (ISS) for six months.

Italian-American multi-millionaire Dennis Tito, left, was the first space tourist, paying Russian Federation around $20 million for his eight-day trip to the ISS. It could mean trouble walking and moving around for a while.

The agency said Mr. Saint-Jacques is in good health despite suffering the effects of a 400-kilometre drop to Earth.

Canadian Space Agency officials have said rehabilitation is one of their main priorities in the coming days. That group is expected to launch on July 20.

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