LIVE – David Saint-Jacques explores Earth with students in Prince Edward Island

LIVE – David Saint-Jacques explores Earth with students in Prince Edward Island


Good afternoon, students, staff, invited guests, and especially those who are viewing through the wonders of technology here on the Canadian Space Agency’s website as we get ready for the in-flight space talk with David Saint-Jacques. Stonepark is extremely pleased – first of all, my name’s Norman Beck. For those of you who do not know me, I am the principal of Stonepark Intermediate. And it’s my distinct pleasure to welcome everyone here this afternoon. We are so excited, so thrilled, and so honoured to be able to host such an event. This is the second time that Stonepark has been able to host such an event. Back in 2013, we partnered with Arres (ph), a society that allowed us to establish a space connection with the then-Commander Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station. But the set-up and the procedure was markedly different. Back then, in 2013, we had Prince Edward Island ham radio operators, who were set up over here in this corner with their headsets on. We had a large rabbit ears antenna up on the roof of the building. And we were establishing connection in a very – somewhat primitive mode. The technology today is much different, and is thankful – we’re very thankful for that, that the Canadian Space Sens—Agency (inaudible) productions is able to come in and do this in a much slicker, modern manner. But it sort of speaks to the evolution of the way technology’s changing our lives in terms of space exploration, Earth exploration, and all kinds of scientific inquiry. And that’s really how this day came about. It’s thanks to our grade nine science teacher, Ms. Sharna Reynard, that we are all gathered here today. Ms. Reynard, being the inquisitive scientist, decided that she would do a little bit of exploration on the Internet, came upon a contest that was put forth by the Canadian Space Agency to engage in a conversation with David Saint-Jacques. Sharna did a little bit of research, made an application, clicked send, and then got the good news a few weeks ago and was extremely excited. So we do want to make a special recognition of Ms. Reynard for, without her, we would not be here today. Thank you very much, Mrs. Reynard. (Applause). Today with us we have some special guests who are – I would like to recognize at this time, and I would ask you to please hold the applause until the end, after I’ve introduced them all. From the Public Schools Branch, we have Becky Chason (ph) and Karen Redmond. Seated to their left, from the Department of Education is some science consultants, Jonathan Hayes (ph) and former Stonepark Teacher Jackie Reid (ph). They’re sitting there. And to their left, representing the Government of Canada, the Deputy Assistant Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, Ms. Lisa Campbell (ph). We also have some media people with us here today: Jessica Doria Brown (ph) from CBC Radio; and, Jim Day (ph) from The Guardian. So we’re very thankful that they were able to be part of our day here as well today. Thank you very much. (Applause). And last but not least, we have with us a real, true-life astronaut in our presence. If you look over to your left, you’ll see someone in a blue uniform. That’s Mr. Jeremy Hansen. And Jeremy is going to be here conducting this part of – of the segment on Earth while David is up in Ear—up in the International Space Station. Jeremy has been an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency since 2009. He was actually recruited at the same time as David. He’s an experienced CF-18 fighter pilot. And in 2017, he became the first Canadian to be entrusted with leading a NASA astronaut class, which means that he is in charge of training astronaut candidates from the United States and Canada – pretty impressive. While he awaits a flighting – a flight assignment and continues his training, Jeremy represents NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, speaks to young Canadians, and works at the Mission Control Center at CAPCOM. And he is also the voice between us and the International Space Station up there. So at this time, I’d ask you to please give a warm welcome to Jeremy Hansen. (Applause). Thank you – Thank you. — and enjoy the show. Thank you. Thank you, Principal Beck. Good morning, everyone. It’s great to – great to be with you this morning. In fact, this is my first visit to Prince Edward Island. I’ve been in Prince Edward Island a grand total of four hours in my life, so I’m – I’m really excited to be here, actually. And I’ve been – as the principal was saying, I’ve – I’ve been a fighter pilot, been in the Air Force for many, many years. I’ve had the great fortune of travelling all across Canada. And this was the last box I needed to tick for provinces and territories, so I’m actually excited to – to finally check Prince Ward—Ed—Edward Island off my list. And I’m looking forward to spend a little bit of time here this afternoon and tonight just exploring and seeing what this great province is all about. So thanks for having me here today. But that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to talk about space. Any of you interested in space? A few of you? I’m just curious. Before we talk to David up there, how many of you would be willing to go to space for Canada? A few of you? What about – what about going to the moon? Any of you interested in the moon? Mars? Keep your hands up if you’d be willing to go to Mars. I am super excited about the things that I am – am living and breathing in my job as an astronaut. Space is changing rapidly. And in your future, space is going to look completely different than it does today. And we can talk more about that later, but in the next few minutes – we’ve got about 15 minutes before David will join us here. We’re just – we’re just going to delve into a little bit about what he’s doing in space, give you a little context. Some of you have been – see if this – surprising, it really is. Even though they’ve seen all the videos, all the photos that you and I see from astronauts, when they get there and they see it with their own eyes, they are absolutely blown away. And we can talk a little bit more about our planet later on, because it’s a really important and unique perspective. And I betcha you guys have some – some neat ideas on that as well. So I’m really excited about this tool that the Canadian Space Agency has launched. I think it’s a great way for us to start an important conversation about our planet and how we need to be taking care of it. But let’s – let’s talk about where David is right now and how he got there. On December 3rd, 2018, David Saint-Jacques had a dream come true. He flew to the International Space Station for a six-and-a-half-month mission in space. The days leading up to David’s departure were exciting and emotional. They included qualification exams, traditional ceremonies, and press conferences. When astronauts are quarantined before going to space, what was once a dream becomes to feel more and more real. The launch on December 3rd was a success. David’s journey to the space station lasted six hours. He is now in orbit 400 kilometres above Earth. Once on board, a very busy schedule awaited the astronauts. From conducting science experiments to maintaining the space station, working out every day, and communicating with young Canadians all over the country, David is performing a wide variety of tasks to ensure the success of the mission. David has a breathtaking view from the windows of the station. In order to share it with as many people as possible, he takes plenty of photos so that you too can see the most beautiful thing that lives in the vacuum of space: our planet, Earth. Gives you just kind of an idea how David got to space, but he’s been training for many years. And of course David is just part of a huge team of people that makes what he’s doing right now possible. There’s a lot of people at the Canadian Space Agency supporting this mission, and also teams around the world. It’s an international partnership. It’s called the International Space Station for a very important reason, is that no country can take on this big – big a challenge alone, and we had to join together, set a big goal, and that’s how we are able to do this incredible thing, have this amazing classroom or laboratory in space, the International Space Station. And that’s really what it is. It’s our school in space. It’s where we go to learn things like how are we going to sustain human life in space long term; how are we eventually going to leave low Earth orbit and establish colonies of people out in the solar system. And there’s a lot to be learned. In this photo, you can see Serena Aunon. This is another one of our classmates. She’s back on Earth now. Her mission has ended. but she’s helping David draw some blood. And that’s because we’re doing experiments every single day on the Space Station, and the astronauts themselves are guinea pigs. We can learn a lot about a astronaut’s body in space. So it’s really cool to see David doing tricks and flips and flying around the space station. It would be fun to be in microgravity, right? Imagine if we could turn off gravity in this – in this gymnasium right now. You think we’d be having a good time? Oh, it would be a madhouse in here. We’d be having a great time. We’d be all over the place, bouncing off the walls, doing all sorts of fun stuff. I could just grab you by the shoe and just toss you across the gym. It’d be awesome. But being in microgravity wreaks havoc on your body. You start to lose muscle mass. You start to lose bone density. Other things start to happen. We see that astronauts are actually aging faster in space. The good news is for astronauts a lot of those effects, when they come back, they’re reversed. And that’s an interesting piece of the puzzle for scientists, is, if – if that aging process can happen quicker in space but yet be reversed on the planet, we can get some insights into what’s happening, and we can start to look at problems that are going to affect all of you. You don’t think about them much today at your age, but your family – members of your family do. They impact all of us, things like our balance when we get older, osteoporosis for bone loss, our – our cardiovascular system is sin—significantly affected in space. As we get older, heart at—a greater heart attack risk. These are all things that we can see differently in space than we can on the planet, and that’s why we’re doing these experiments. Now, in order to keep our school in space working, we need help – not just people; we use robots. So how many of you have noticed that our Canadarm2 is on the fi—back of your five-dollar bill? It’s an amazing robot. We take it for granted, but our space robotics that Canada builds are world renowned and allow us to do some really important things in space. Like in this image, Canadarm is capturing a visiting vehicle. This is the Dragon Capsule. There’s no people in there, so what do you think’s in there? Yeah, supplies. Astronauts need food. There – we have to reple—even though we recycle water on the space station, we have to replenish some of it. We have to send our science experiments up that way and send them back down when we’re done. So that’s what these vehicles are about. And in fact, David is going to use the arm next week to reach out and grab one of these vehicles. And it’s a very challenging task for an astronaut because all that supply vehicle can do is fly up in formation with the space station, and then David will be driving the arm. It’s kind of like playing a video game. And you take the arm and you reach out and you grab a-hold of it. And then you berth it to the space station, open up the hatch, and get your supplies out. This is a really cool robot that goes on the end of Canadarm. This piece here – I’ll use my laser pointer. This piece here is Dextre. And Dextre has two arms. One’s over here, one’s there. And this is just a tray that holds things. Dextre has two arms that it can use to do jobs that you and I would do. So, like, let’s say we need to replace a computer box on the space station. Dextre can go up and grab it with one arm, and then take a drill with the other arm and remove the bolt, and then take that box and swap it out and put a new box in. So that robot is doing a lot of maintenance on space station. That’s how we’re keeping our space station alive. Sometimes the tasks are just too complicated for Canadarm and Dextre to do, and if that’s the case, and it’s outside the space station, then we have to go do a spacewalk. And if you want to do a space walk, you have to wear the great, big suit that you see David in here. I’ll show you another picture. It’s a little bit better. You can see the Canadian flag on David’s arm. And here’s David’s colleague, Anne (ph). And they’re outside doing a spacewalk together. They’re in these great, big, huge, white spacesuits, and that’s to protect them from all the dangers of space. So of course we need air, pressurization, we need a cooling system because the – the spacesuit will actually overheat with you in it in the vacuum of space, and we need an oxygen supply, and we need power. And so that is literally a little spaceship that you’re in for the duration of that spacewalk. And we have all sorts of special tools to go out and fix the space station. In fact, we spend quite a bit of time training to do these spacewalks because it’s a very, very challenging task. And I’ll tell you why. So, like, when you’re in that spacesuit, it’s a balloon, right, and it’s pressurized . And every movement you make, you have to squeeze that balloon. So whether you bend your arm or you squeeze your fingers closed, you’re fighting the forces of that balloon. And after six hours – these spacewalks normally last over six hours – you actually get pretty fatigued. So we do a lot of physical training and practising in a big pool in Houston, where we can simulate microgravity. So David and Anne went out. It was Anne’s second spacewalk; it was David’s first spacewalk. Really cool opportunity for him. And that is something that, you know, both David and I, training together over the last number of years, that we – we both think is a really cool part of our job. So I was pretty delighted to see David get to do it, and he did a great job. Of course – oh, I can’t get too close to that speaker. Of course you’ve seen his pictures, but this is David’s viewpoint on our planet. So these are the windows that he goes to with his camera and looks out. We call it the cupola. It’s this amazing place on the space station. It’s got windows all the way around, a 360-degree view. It hangs off the bottom of space station. And then it’s got that huge pane of glass parallel to the surface of our planet. And when you look out of it, you see our planet with a completely different perspective. So what do you guys see? What is this? PEI. Yeah? Somebody – somebody said PEI. What else do you see? There’s PEI. It’s the Maritimes. And astronauts can see things big picture, and then they can use that big camera that you saw in the last picture to zoom in and see things with more detail, like this one. What’s this? This is home, right? It’s home. So obviously, this picture was taken in the winter. So what can we see here? Yeah, we see ice, snow, clouds. Do you notice that it’s difficult to see the bridge here? That’s because there’s some cloud cover. Here’s another picture that was taken by Chris Hadfield in the summer, and now we can see – it’s maybe hard to see at the back, but I can see the bridge here up close. But this is what I was talking about earlier. This gives us a really unique vantage point on our planet. And when astronauts look out – back – or when they look out the window back upon our planet, they get a strong sense of connectedness to the fact that we have this one rock, this one spaceship that we’re all on. It’s the only place in the universe that we have the technology to survive on right now, and we have to take care of that spaceship. We have to work together. You guys – you guys talk about climate change in your classes at all? You talk about climate change at home with your families at all? These are – these are important conversations to – to have, to start thinking about and noticing things that are changing, and trying to understand what we can or should do to tackle some of these issues and to understand the potential impacts in the future. And I think that space is a really important place to see it. So we can send humans to space to take pictures, but what else can we use to take photos? Yeah, robots, satellites. This is just an image of a satellite constellation we’re going to launch coming up later this spring, early summer, called RADARSAT Constellation Mission. And it is a special satellite designed to be able to see through clouds so we can see our planet and the changes happening in our planet every single day of the year. And if you want to take the heartbeat of a planet, where’s the best place to take it from? Space. Because one satellite over a period of time, going around the North and South Poles, with the Earth spinning underneath it, can see the entire planet. So it’s almost time for David to join us, so I’d like to invite Iffrah (ph) and Morgan (ph) to come, please. Oh, there you are, over there. So you guys identified some questions that – or a discussion you wanted to have with David, so I congratulate you on being chosen. What’s going to happen now is, down in Houston, in the Mission Control Center, they’re going to be establishing the video link with David, getting everything set up for us. They’re going to call us here very, very shortly, less than a minute. We’ll check in with them. We’ll start talking with David from space. Let me just tell you, he’s – he’s living in a tin can with only five other people. He’s not going to be able to see you today, but he’s going to be very excited to touch base with some of his fellow Canadians. And so just – just know that you’re doing him a huge favour by giving you s—giving him some of your time today, and – and he’ll look forward to your questions and having a chance to share his perspective. So we’ll just wait a few more seconds and we should hear from Houston. (Off microphone) Houston. Are you ready for the event? Canadian Space Agency, this is Mission Control Houston. Please call station for a voice check. Houston, please call station for a voice check. Station, this is Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. And David, it’s Jeremy. How do you read us? Jeremy, I have you loud and clear. How me? Yeah, I’ve got you loud and clear, David. I didn’t tell them down here that there’s a pretty big delay when we send that signal to space. So when you ask your questions, you just got to be patient. David will hear you a couple of seconds after you send it. So David I – it’s great to see you floating in space, my good friend. You’re looking great, having a great mission. You can’t see us here, but I’ll tell you I – I’m in a gym. It’s my first visit to Prince Edward Island. We got a room full of some excited young Canadians. Great energy in this room. They’re really excited to speak with you today. And I’m standing here with Iffrah and Morgan, and I understood that you heard a little bit about them already and maybe had a question or two for them. Thank you, Jeremy. Well, everybody, welcome to space station. And yes, I’m excited that you guys have been studying more about our beautiful planet. And I was wondering, did – what did you learn about what we’re looking at all those photos and reading all those notes on the website? Anything special? The main thing I learned while going on Exploring Earth is that the spread of deserts and sand dunes is a major threat to nearby farms because it stops crops from growing. Very true. The entire kind of balance of life on Earth depends on each other. It’s a big balancing act. And is anything particularly surprising or shocking to you in the photos? Yeah. I saw a photo of Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, and Toronto at night, and the lights in Montreal were a lot brighter than Toronto, and that really surprised me because Toronto is a very big city with lots of lights. And then I read the caption, and I found out that it was only – it only looked that way because of the angle and distance of the photo. And it really surprised me that it had such a big impact on how it looked. Yeah, it’s interesting, eh? And it goes to show that the Earth is – is round. So even between a distance like the – between Montreal and Toronto, we don’t see it at the same angle because we’re looking at two points – different points on a sphere. Yeah, it’s amazing, the perspective you get of our beautiful planet from orbit. So David, you can’t see, but Morgan’s here too, and he had an answer to that question. Go ahead. Yeah, just both of them. Just go ahead. So the main thing that I learned from the Exploring Earth website was the – like, global warming. I knew that global warming was a problem, but I didn’t really kind of grasp the severity of it, and it just kind of – it’s shocking how, like, this is a big problem and it’s not going away, and how it’s – it’s just getting a lot worse and it’s just – it’s a genuine thing you can feel. Like, Earth’s getting warmer. Yeah. And what — You’re right. I had the same feeling, how it’s – it’s obvious when you look at it from here, that our beautiful planet is fragile, and we should be responsible for it and take actions. And in a way, I think it’s a – it’s a good wake-up call for everybody. – – a little closer. And the picture that shocked me the most was the ozone layer, because I never really knew that you could see it, and it was also just – it was kind of eye-opening to see that that’s the only thing that’s keeping oxygen inside and keeping everyone alive in the way that, like, the way that we breathe and everything we rely on and live on is just held in by that. And kind of open—eye-opening to see the way that we actually treat it and the way that we just kind of pollute and do that stuff to it. You — Yeah, you’re right. It was a shock for me too. We think the – standing on the Earth, you think – it’s easy to think that the sky is infinite, but actually it is such a thin layer out there, that little layer of air that’s keeping us from the deadly vacuum of space. Well, I’m glad you noticed all these very important things. My name is Sidney (ph), and I have a question. Can you notice the rotation of the Earth? And if so, how fast does it appear to move? So here on the space station, I am orbiting the Earth. I’m going in the same direction as the Earth is rotating; I’m just going quite a lot faster than the Earth. So every hour and a half, I go around the Earth one loop. But once I come back around the world, I’m not over the same place. The Earth has rotated underneath me by, you know, about an hour and a her—about one-sixteenth of a full rotation. That’s how I notice. Because after I’ve done one orbit, I’m not over the same spot. I can tell the Earth has rotated a little bit while I was going around it. That’s the only way you can tell. Because otherwise, it’s a very slow-appearing movement, very graceful. You can also notice, if you look at the stars in the background, that they’re moving with respect to the Earth, but that’s mostly because he – we on the space station are moving much faster. Hi. My name is Alice, and my question is that since this year PEI farmers had a hard time getting their potato crops planted and dug up due to extreme weather conditions. So will we ever be able to grow potatoes and other fruits or vegetables in space? It is very difficult, but we’re going to have to. We’ve actually started. Last month we grew a couple of plants of lettuce up in space station, and we just started planting some more. We need to do that because, if one day we want to go very far, like back to the moon or further on to Mars, we can’t just bring packed food with us .We won’t have enough. We’re going to have to grow our own food. And if we want to make a colony one day somewhere, we’ll also learn to – need to learn to grow food. And everything we learn on growing food in space, because our – at – it’s just as difficult as on Earth, can help the farmers on the ground in difficult places. So I think we have the same challenge, and we’ll find solutions together. Hello. My name is Noah. My question is could you create static electric—electricity in space? And if not, why? Hey, Noah. Yes, you actually can. It is a problem for space station. It has these giant solar arrays that are, you know, generating electricity from the sun, and we’re going very fast over the Earth. It’s not in complete vacuum. There’s a few little, you know, molecules that we can grab, and so that can create static electricity on the station. So when we go outside wearing our spacesuits, we have to be very careful, so we – we dep—you know, we deploy little – little antennas just to protect us against that. But yes, it is possible. But because there’s vacuum, there’s no air to transmit the electricity. It takes much – much more static electric—electricity to cause like a lightning bolt, to cause a shock between them. But it’s possible. Hi. I’m Cadence. Why should young people care about the environmental changes you are trying to document with your photos? I think everybody should care about it, for most of the young people, because this planet – this planet is your planet, just as ours. It’s probably more your planet than ours. One day we’ll be gone and – and it will be yours. And the solutions to all those problems lie in some young people’s brains. All these new ideas are in the minds of young people. Your minds are our greatest resource, our greatest hope for the future. So I think all these environmental discoveries we’re – we’re seeing, yes, they’re bad news, but at the same time, they’re a good wake-up call, and it’s better to start thinking about it earlier than later. So I look forward to the great solutions that are going to come from young people’s minds. My name’s Ryan, and have you ever encountered any space junk in your travels? Hey, Ryan. Fortunately, not seen any big space junk because that would be scary. The space station is going around the world at about eight kilometres per second, and so is space junk. Space junk is often little debris from other satellites. So if we meet it, it’s like, you know, it’s a – it’s very dangerous. It can hurt us. We see station is peppered with tiny, little impacts from either a piece of space junk, but mostly likely little – just little pieces of sa—of space dust. We call them micro meteorites. It’s everywhere on station, a bit like mosquitoes on the windshield of a car when you’re driving on the road. But so far, nothing big has hit us. And that’s because people on the ground with radars are tracking all the piece of space junk, several tens of thousands of them. And whenever there’s one that’s coming close to station, we duck – we dodge it. We move station up to kind of hop over it. Hi. I’m Zeke. And have you ever solved any of Earth’s problems being in space? Hey, Zeke. That’s a great question. You know, space is so difficult and it’s so exciting, and it – it seems to attract (off microphone) the best of humanity’s power to invent and desire to be creative. And – and so, over the decades, the space program has come up with all sorts of solutions to their problems that happen to be also great solutions to Earth problems. A lot of new materials were invented for the space program. A lot of medical re—discoveries were made for the space program. A lot of robotics technology was made for the space program. So in a way, space is like an excuse to scratch our heads and solve really tough problems, and then, oh, we find out we can apply that on Earth. And that happens all the time. Hi. I’m Zoe, and I was wondering if going into space changed how you see the Earth. In many ways, Zoe. First, I knew that the wor—the world was one beautiful planet, but it was just images in my mind. Now I see that in—see with my eyes, and it’s really touching. Because the Earth is, I tell you, is so beautiful and graceful, and it’s the only thing alive you can see out the window. Everything else – like the moon is a dead piece of grey rock. The sun is a big ball of fire. Other planets and stars are just little, cold dots. But the Earth is beautiful, it’s blue, it’s breathing you – almost. You can see the clouds moving. There’s storms somewhere, northern stars. You can see the activity of humans, you can – city at nights. So you can tell it is so much more attractive than anything else you can see. So that’s one thing. It has changed my – it made it even more endearing to me. Then also, it’s made it very obvious that all humans are together, one race, if you want, on one planet. It’s as if Earth was the spacecraft of humanity. Here I am in space station, and it’s keeping six people alive in the vacuum of space, but Earth is keeping billions of people alive, and billions of animals, and billions of plants alive in the deadly vacuum of space. So we are all astronauts, and our main spacecraft is – is Mother Earth. And finally, it has made it very clear to me that we are responsible to keep Earth in good shape because together we scratch our heads and we can find solutions. And when we work together between the nations, instead of going to war, but if we manage to work together, putting our differences aside, we can accomplish miracles and things that we thought were impossible. And I believe – that gives me a lot of hope for the future. Hi. I’m Gabe. Can you see the great Pacific garbage patch from space? So no, I was not able to see that. And you know why? It’s because most of the – most of that great garbage patch is very small pieces of plastic or – that are floating, a lot of them, just under the surface. So it’s not really possible to see them with your eyes from up here. But there’s some – even some satellites have a hard time going through the water to see them. So really, the discovery was made by people who actually went there physically. But seeing from here, I was not able to see it. Hi. My name is Faith, and I was wondering, do the stars, sun, moon, and other planets look different from space than they do on Earth? Yes, it’s a bit surprising. So first, for example, the moon. The moon looks pretty similar from the – in space than it does seen from the Earth, except it doesn’t change colour like it does on Earth, you know, at sunset or sunrise. The sun looks a bit different, though, because what’s surprising is here, during the day, the sky is not blue. During the day the sky is still black, just like at night. And the sun is just like one very, very bright, big star, but it’s the same colour. It looks like another star. What’s different is the stars also. Instead of twinkling, they’re just like little points, very precise points. They don’t twinkle. Because the twinkling of the stars comes from the atmosphere. On Earth, we look at the stars from the bottom of the atmosphere, and it’s the atmosphere that makes the stars twinkle. Here in space, they look kind of cold, if you want, and lifeless, just little – little, bright dots. So things look a bit different from up here. Hi. My name’s Emma, and I was wondering if you can see the coral reef dying from space. So we can see the coral reef very well, the big ones, like in the Bahamas or in – around Australia. We can see the beautiful colours of the oceans in those areas where the – the ocean is shallow enough for corals to – to grow. But I was not able to see the bleaching effect from here. We’re too far away to see that effect. But there are some specialized satellites who, from space, study exactly that question to follow the evolution and the health of corals. And it’s very important because, in a way, they’re – they’re very sensitive, so it’s – if a coral is in good health, it means the ocean is in good health. So we’ve got to keep track of them. Hi. I’m Jack Brian (ph). What kind of hazards are astronauts exposed to while doing their work? So there’s a couple of dangers we face here. So first, imagine if a piece of space junk or a meteorite or a shooting star hit the space station, it’d make a hole in the – in our spacecraft, and we would lose the air. It would make a leak. And so we would have to quickly close the hatch in that module. Station is build like a submarine. Every little room has very tight doors that we can close to isolate it. So that’s one potential problem. Another problem is if we have a fire onboard. You – you know, if you have a fire in your home, you just leave your home and then call the fire department. Here we can’t. We cannot go outside. We have to fight the fire from inside. So that would be also something we’re really well prepared for, and the station is re—very, very safely built to protect against fire. Another problem could be if the air we breathe becomes toxic or poisoned by some chemical. That would be a problem because we cannot open the windows, of course, and we have to stay here. So we’d have to live on gas masks until we can clean the air. These are the biggest problems. Other problems you can have, well, there’s radiation in space, and so that can affect your genetic code. And maybe, if you’re not lucky, you can increase your chances of developing a cancer later on in life. These are the biggest problems that we face. Other problems happen. For example, some people, their vision changes, and you come back to Earth and you don’t see as well, just because of the way the fluids in your body move around. But we – we are looking at ways to – to minimize that problem. Other things that happen to our bodies are pretty much reversible. Your bones, your muscles, they change in space, but they come back when you come back to Earth. Your sense of balance also, even your immune system gets affected, but that also comes back to normal. We’re learning a lots about all these problems. And it’s going to help us go further into space, but it’s also helping everybody on Earth because all those problems that astronauts face, of course, they’re problems that anybody can have on Earth for different reasons. So we kind of go hand in hand, the medical research on the ground and medical research in space. Thanks, David. We’ve got time for – we’ve got about one minute left. We’re going to squeeze in one last question here. Hi. I’m Owen, and I was wondering if the influence of gravity extends out forever. Yes, it does, but it quickly becomes weaker and weaker and weaker. So for example, the – you know, as you get away from the Earth, the gravity of the Earth gets weaker and weaker. Here in space station it’s still pretty strong, like 90 percent of the gravity of Earth, but we’re going so fast we don’t feel it. We’re kind of falling forward all the time. If you get somewhere near the moon, suddenly the gravity of the moon is as important as the gravity of the Earth. So you stop feeling the gravity of the Earth and you start falling towards the moon. So you kind of go from one source of gravity to the next as you go further and further. But every source of gravity doesn’t really stop anywhere. It just gets overtaken by the nearest planets. David, we know you’ve got a busy day. Thanks for spending a bit of time with us today. We’re very grateful for it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up. Look forward to seeing you back on the planet. Thank you, Jeremy. Thank you, everybody. Great questions. Thanks for taking an interest in our planet. It’s our future to all of us. B ye-bye from space station. (Applause). Sorry we didn’t get to your questions guys. We’ll go – we’ll talk about them now. (Inaudible – applause). That concludes the event. (Inaudible). Station, this is Houston (inaudible). That concludes the event. Thank you. Thank you, Canadian Space Agency and participants. Station, we are now resuming operational audio communication. Alright, what’d you guys think? Was that fun? (Cheers and applause). Come on – come on over, guys. Come on. Don’t be shy. Come on. It’s a pretty cool job, being an astronaut, don’t you think? David’s living and working in a pretty cool place. We didn’t get to see any of his colleagues today when we were chatting with him, but there are – there are five others onboard the space station right now. Two of them are from Russia, and then the other three are American astronauts with David. And so they took two different rockets to get up there. David’s been there since December, and he’ll be coming back – back to Earth in late June of this year. So he’s got a couple of months left of his mission before he – before he wraps up. Alright, so we – we got through a lot of questions Those were great questions. We’ve got a few more, so why don’t you just ask your question out loud, and then we can just chat about it. I’m Lexi (ph), and my question is what does your sleep schedule look like. Yeah, so the astronaut’s schedule is – is really regimented. We – we are trying to get the very most out of space station that we can. So we want to do as many experiments as we possibly can, so we use every minute of astronaut time. And so, basically, their schedule, when they get up and when they go to bed, and we’re scheduling them for about seven and a half hours of sleep every night. And so there are some times where we need them to stay up late and so something special because maybe that visiting vehicle shows up in the middle of their sleep time, and we have to shift that around. But by and large, we give them about seven and a half hours of rest. And then the rest of the time, they’re either working, eating, exercising, or just doing, like, the stuff that you and I need to do to take care of our bodies: you know, bathing and things like that, brushing their teeth. All the normal stuff that you and I have to do every day, we need to carve out some time for them to do that. Alright. What we got? Howdy. I’m Ajit (ph). How big of a milestone is the recent picture of a black hole, and how will it affect space travel and our perception of the dangers faced? Yeah, it’s really interesting. How many of you saw the picture of the black hole? Yeah, alright, quite a few of you. So, you know, my perspective on it is it didn’t actually change anything. We – it kind of – it assured us of what we already thought we knew. It gives us – it’s kind of like seeing is believing. We knew that was the case. Physics told us. Physics tells us lots about black holes. We feel like there’s a lot we don’t know about black holes yet, but this picture is just us using our technology. Our technology’s improving. We can look further away with more accuracy by combining telescopes from around the planet, looking at it from different angles. And for the first time, we got to see it out of our own eyes, kind of like David was saying. He’s seen pictures before, but when he looks out the window of the space station, he’s left with a very distinct and different impression than he got from looking at a picture on a computer screen. And so now we’ve taken one more step. Now we have a picture on a computer screen, but no human eyes have ever gone to see a black hole. And I’ll give you a piece of free advice: if you do, don’t go too close. But as far as what does it change, I don’t think it changes – it hasn’t added anything to our technology yet with respect to how we can travel through space. But there are many, many, many questions about how we’re going to travel vast difference—di stances in space. You know, right now, if I were to – if I were to round up a team of you to send you to Mars today, the best we could do is about a eight – eight-month journey to get you to Mars. There’s technology being developed right now. CSA is participating in it. It’s a new type of engine. And that engine could change that trip from eight months to about 40 days. So that’s a pretty big leap in engine technology, and we have a lot of work to do, we’re not there yet, but that’s coming in the future. And then eventually, maybe we’ll be able to travel faster than the speed of light once we understand how gravity really works. There’s a lot to learn about gravity, I think. So great question. Alright, what do you got? Hi. I’m Ava (ph), and my question is, is it warm in space. So is it warm in space? Well, that depends. Space itself is cold – cold, cold, cold. There’s no energy there for you to absorb. So you know, there’s nothing there, it’s a vacuum, it’s empty, so there’s no vibrating molecules to warm us up. What’s keeping you and I warm right now is what? It’s the air, right? The air molecules have enough energy in them that they’re – they’re – there’s warmth here for our bodies. However, if you’re in space, and the sun is shining on you, you can get very hot. So if you’re in your spacesuit and the sh—the sun is shining on you, you’re actually absorbing that energy from the sun. It’s warming up the – the molecules, what your spacesuit’s ma—made of, that matter, and that can transfer energy to your body. And in fact, we kind of say – it’s sort of a rough estimate, but we kind of say in the sun it’s 250 degrees Celsius, and in the shade of space it’s minus 250 degrees Celsius. So it’s – generally it’s cold, but it can get really hot. And when we design spacecraft, one of the biggest challenges is getting rid of heat. Even though you’re in a cold place, you have to have a way to transfer the heat from your object out into space, and we have to use radiation to do it. We have to radiate that heat. Alright. Well, great questions, folks. I had lots of fun spending some time with you today, and I’m glad you got to see David in space. I think – I’d like to thank Ms. Reynard again, and I think it was great that you did this for the school. Thanks for giving me an excuse to finally come and explore Prince Edward Island. I look forward to doing that today. Thanks for your time, and I wish you guys all the very best. (Applause). In fact, just one more thing, guys. I – I just – I just had this thought, and I thought you’d better know this. So the – the future of space is changing so rapidly. I hinted at it before. But right now we’re building so many new rockets. There’s so much new technology. Canada is part of this in a big way. We just made an announcement, just a month ago, that Canada is going to be part of the efforts to go back to the moon. We committed to Gateway. So we committed to building a third generation of Canadarm. And this isn’t just like a new Canadarm2; this is an entire new leap in technology. If we want to have a robotic arm that works out by the moon – like, you guys noticed today, we’re talking to David, it’s kind of awkward because you ask him a question and then he’s just floating there? And it looks like he’s not going to answer you? Because of that delay in the communications? That’s the problem with operating robotics on the moon. It’s going to be even more delay. And so we need smarter robots to operate out by the moon. We need autonomous robotic arms that leverage artificial intelligence. And I have to tell you, although we absolutely believe we can do it, we do not know how to do it yet. And we – we’ve set a huge goal for Canada, and we’re going to tackle that, and that is going to make sure that Canada is playing a major role as humanity leaves our planet and ventures out into the solar system. And that Gateway that we’re going to build out by the moon is going to allow us to go down to the surface of the moon, it’s going to allow us to look out into the universe, it’s going to allow us to explore our own solar system, it’s going to allow us to set up a reusable transportation infrastructure. Instead of throwing away the things that we use in space, we’re going to use them over and over again. It’s going to become cheaper, and we’re going to be doing more of it, and it’s going to impact your futures. And so if you really are interested in working in the space field, your future is very, very bright. Obviously, we’re going to be looking for people with science and technology, engineering, medical type fields and backgrounds. So if that interests you, we’re really going to need you on our team because we’re tackling some big challenges. And I think the big lesson that you could take from that, and it’s one that – that people taught me in my – in my journey – is that, just like we’re setting a big goal, I would challenge you to set a big goal for yourself. You don’t have to know what – ju—it doesn’t have to be what job you’re going to do, but set goals in your life, and share those goals with other people. Because when you do that, you will find that they are going to – they’re going to surround you, they’re going to help you, they’re going to enable you to accomplish those goals. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was young. I didn’t get here by myself. I got here because a lot of people helped me and enabled me to do it. And that’s totally available to all of you by just setting goals, sharing them with other people, and you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish. Alright. For real this time, I’ll let you go. Have a great day. (Applause).

7 Replies to “LIVE – David Saint-Jacques explores Earth with students in Prince Edward Island”

  1. 7F
    oh and I found it kinda interesting but it was kinda annoying because people were bugging me with there feet! 😑

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