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OUT OF THIS WORLD | Earth, Space And The Stuff In Between - a daily journey through weather, space and science with meteorologist/science writer Scott Sutherland

Next Canadian astronaut will be on ISS in 2018, intro here

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques. Credit: Canadian Space Agency

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Monday, May 16, 2016, 10:00 AM - An exciting announcement this morning for Canadian space exploration. David Saint-Jacques will be the next CSA astronaut to fly to the International Space Station, in late 2018.

In a Monday morning press conference, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, the Minister in charge of the Canadian Space Agency, presented astronaut David Saint-Jacques as Canada's next crew member of the International Space Station.

"The doctor in me is eager to conduct experiments and experience first-hand the effects of microgravity on my body, the engineer in me is eager to operate Canadarm2, the astrophysicist in me is eager to look at the stars while floating in my space suit, and of course, the adventurer in me, he's just eager," Saint-Jacques said during the announcement.

Quick Facts

• Originally from Quebec City
• Owns degrees in medicine, engineering and astrophysics
• Will be ninth Canadian astronaut in space
• Last astronaut to fly in space was Chris Hadfield (2013)
• Inspired to be an astronaut after seeing a photo of the Earth taken from space
• Canadians have made 16 space flights to date

After expressing how honoured he was to be chosen, and this hope that friend and fellow CSA astronaut Jeremy Hansen would soon get his chance as well, Saint-Jacques spent time answering questions from the children assembled at the announcement. Questions ranged from how it feels during a space launch (imagine an elephant sitting on your chest!), to how do the astronauts eat in space, how they clean themselves, and even about going using the toilet.

Selected along with Hansen by the CSA's recruitment campaign in 2009, and graduating from Astronaut Candidate Training in 2011, Saint-Jacques has been waiting for an opportunity to fly to space for nearly seven years now.

"We've been training together for seven years, helping each other every step along the way," he said of Hansen and himself. "Today, I'm the lucky one to be picked, but I know very well that it could be him and I can't wait for him to get his mission next."

Saint-Jacques' wait is not over yet, however, as he now has roughly two years of training for his upcoming six-month mission, which is currently scheduled for November 2018.

The Canadian Space Agency has promised more details of that mission in the fall.

Source: CSA

Watch Below: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield describes sleeping in space!

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