LIVE – David Saint-Jacques welcomed at the Canadian Space Agency

LIVE – David Saint-Jacques welcomed at the Canadian Space Agency


David! David! David! CSA! CSA! CSA! CSA! More? Ok, hello everyone. Welcome to the Canadian
Space Agency here in Saint-Hubert. I am very pleased to see so many of you here
today. I’d also like to welcome our participants, our
viewers on social media. I hope you enjoy the event as much as we will
here. Mr. Minister, Mr. Bains, thank you for joining us for
this very special event. You’ve been a stalwart supporter of the
Canadian Space Program. And you’ve been a champion for the Canadian
Space Program and our heartfelt thanks to you as well. I am also pleased today to thank everyone who
helped David’s mission. As we say in English, it takes a village to put an
astronaut in space. Many of you, hundreds of you have contributed
in great part, in small part to a very, very successful mission that David has been
proud to have accomplished. David, welcome back to Earth. Thank you. Welcome to Saint-Hubert, to the
Canadian Space Agency, and welcome home. Thank you very much. Thank you everyone. Thank you Sylvain. Thank
you Minister. My family, I have thanked them a lot for a long
time, all along, but you, this is a great opportunity to thank you in person.
I’ve been wondering why was I so – what was so special about coming back here to
me? And I think I know, you know, a lot of people are
waiting – were waiting for my return on Earth. And this is a special group because you are not
fans. You’re more than friends. You’re my colleagues. You are my team. I’ve been
to space because of the support of the people on the ground. So this was your
mission and I was your representative. I felt like I’m back from the arena or back from the
mountain having carried your flag. And with all the work that you have done and all
the support, I think you should be proud of what we have accomplished together. And space flight is this amazing example of what
we can accomplish when we actually put aside our differences and work together. I am very proud to have represented Canada, to
have represented the Space Agency, to have represented each of you individually in
this incredible adventure that I have not yet finished digesting. We’ll be able
to talk about this for a long time. I wanted to thank the Minister in particular for
being such a great champion of space in Canada. It takes champions to keep us moving in this
direction, which is the direction of our future, the future of our children, the future of the
country. Thank you very much for this very warm
welcome. I’m shaking a little with emotion. I feel – I came back to Earth first, then I came
back to my operational team. I came back to my family and now I’m coming
back to my team a bit. So I’ve come full circle. Thank you. Now, I invite you to take a seat in our conference
centre for the next part of our events. Thank you very much. Well, hello again, everyone. Thank you for joining
the entire group here in the conference centre. Welcome again to the Canadian Space Agency
here in Saint-Hubert. A big hello to the folks that are also following us
social media. We’re very, very happy now to spend a little bit
more time with our astronaut, David. And before I introduce the Minister, I’d also like to
welcome our guests from the École nationale d’aérotechnique day camp
here in Saint-Hubert. They will have the pleasure of asking David a
few questions later in our event. So without further ado, Minister Bains, the floor is
yours, Sir. Thank you very much, Sylvain. Thank you for
your leadership and your work. Hello everyone, and ladies and gentlemen, it is a
pleasure to be here with you this morning to welcome a great Canadian who has travelled a
long way. Not only has he come a long way, he was gone a
long time. His wife and children will tell you that. David
Saint-Jacques has just returned from the longest stay in space for a Canadian, 204 days. On behalf of all – – yes, exactly, congratulations. On behalf of all
Canadians, on behalf of everyone here and especially on behalf of all the young
Canadians who have been following your achievements with their heads turned to the
sky, I thank you sincerely. You are a national hero. Your hard work and courage make you a role
model for youth. And your work not only inspires Canadians, it
doesn’t just benefit Canadians and advance Canadian science, it truly benefits
all of humanity. Solutions to the problems that humans face every
day in space can often be applied to problems that we have right here on
Earth. Just think of the Bio-Monitor, a Canadian
innovation as a smart shirt because it takes your vital signs and records the data. And this is great if you’re in space with the
nearest doctor in Houston, but it’s also great if you live in Puvirnituq. This is a
place that David is very familiar with. It’s in the very northwest corner of Quebec and
the nearest doctor is in Labrador. And David has also been doing research on
vascular health, bone marrow and bone density. And the physical experience of astronauts in
zero gravity resembles that of bedridden patients so what we can learn in space can help
the most in need right here on Earth. But we not only benefit from David’s research
results. His photos of Earth and especially of Canada
from the ISS are inspirational. And David has a down-to-Earth way of
connecting with you and I and I promise that’s my first and last pun. You may have been
reading to your kids from space but all our kids were part of your story. While in space, he spoke to students from around
Canada and the world 20 times. You never know what will give kids a passion for
space and where it’s going to lead them. And for David, it was seeing photos of Earth
taken from the Moon in the Apollo years. Now David’s own photos could be just the spark
needed for a young girl or a young boy to really inspire them to pursue a career in STEM.
As David says, “The Dream can come true. The future is yours.” And the people who will be
travelling to the Moon or to Mars are walking on Canadian soil right
now. And now is the time to instill in them a passion for
space and science, because we’re saving a spot for them up there. Last spring, our government launched the new
Space Strategy for Canada. And this strategy is going to help us build the
Canadarm 3 which is going to be a key initiative to support the lunar gateway activities. And the lunar gateway will be the first space
station that will orbit the Moon. But this isn’t the first time Canada’s been involved
in Moon exploration. The lunar module that brought Neil Armstrong and
Buzz Aldrin to the surface of the moon was designed by Owen Maynard, a Canadian
from Woodstock, Ontario. And Canada is proud to play such a prominent
role from the earliest days of the race to space to now having 10,000 Canadians employed in the
space sector and many incredible employees here at the Canadian Space Agency. And we’re
also very proud of our astronauts Jeremy, Jenni and Josh and their work, work that
pushes the boundaries of science and whose work helps us understand what it
means to be human right here on Earth. And now, without further ado, say a warm hello
to David SaintJacques. Thank you very much. You’re welcome, you’re
welcome. Hi everyone. Hello, everybody. It was great to be
back on Earth and then it was great to be back with my family and then it was great to be back at
NASA with my close professional colleagues and then finally good to be back in Canada with
my family here, my extended family the CSA team that made this happen. And I want to personally
acknowledge one of our great leaders in the Space Program, Mr. Bains, who indeed is a
great champion of space, who believes that this is the path forward to
Canada. It’s the kind of Canada that we want to give our kids and I’m particularly proud as a
father to know that my children will have the opportunity to continue to contribute
to space exploration, to this Canadian adventure in space. And they
can even – if they are interested, children can even get involved, get trained, get
educated through the Junior Astronauts Recruitment Campaign. It is a wonderful initiative
with information and activities created by the Canadian Space Agency. I’m going to register
my kids, for sure. If mom is happy with that. So it’s really great to be – have so many people
excited about the Space Program and what it represents. In practice, this is just like
a machine, maybe. It’s a space station. It is, you know, the most complex machine ever
built by the human mind but it’s way more than that. It was my home for
over 200 days. What does that mean? It’s not just a machine. It’s a place where you live.
It’s an extension of humanity. It’s a little island that we have. It’s a small oasis of
life in the middle of space and it’s the result of collaboration, agreements,
creativity that are – this is the miracle. It’s not technology as much as the fact that it
leads us to work together. I was a member for 200 days, I arrived on board
– when I arrived on board with Anne and Oleg, we were welcomed with
open arms by Alex, Serena and Sergey, who were the senior crew. They showed us
everything. They left. So we were all alone. It was our station. Eventually Nick and Christina
and Aleksey came to join us and this was the second part of the mission. So we’re proud to be part of an international team
and – because despite all the political problems that exist – we cannot dismiss them or minimize
them, they’re real. They have to be addressed. They’re complex problems. Yet, every day in
space we demonstrate that there is a path forward when we do choose and manage to put
our differences aside, we can accomplish miracles. And that is another
reason to be hopeful for the next generations. I think it just shows that we can achieve miracles
when we work together. And here we are in our space suits getting ready
to come back to Earth. We look like we’re standing up but we’re not.
We’re just floating, trying to stabilize ourselves. It’s been a great adventure to be up there with
such amazing folks. We really – I think about my relationship with
them. They are much more than just colleagues, naturally. They’re even more than just friends. We
become a bit like brothers and sisters, including the occasional squabbles, but that’s life
when we are in close proximity. And so I think it is a great example of how we
can work together and accomplish things that look impossible. So
this was us barely two weeks ago. I can hardly believe it. I have to pinch myself.
Come back to Earth, actually, it’s like riding a bicycle. Right away, I knew where
this place is and it seems to me like this space trip is a bit of a – that seems to me to be a bit of a
dream. That I’m not sure if it really happened. But I look at these photos and oh yeah, I was
there. That’s right. That’s me, yes. So – and I think this is actually a good chance to
take a photo of us. Yes, because this is a photo of people. Let’s take
another photo of people. You know, what I’ve been doing here since I
landed – you come back from space and you’re very
interesting for scientists. Unfortunately, that means that for the first two,
three weeks of your life back on Earth, you are just a guinea pig. I mean every test you
can think of on you and so I’ve been very, very busy and including today, unfortunately, it’s
going to go on rehabilitation and all that. So I won’t have time to do a lot of photos of
people but we can do one group selfie. Sure. Let’s do this. If I can remember how an iPhone
works. I will come on this side, I think. There. Everybody smile. If you can’t see the camera, the
camera can’t see you. All right, three, two, one, go. Another one, just in
case. So what is the ISS? It’s definitely an orbital
laboratory. So if you ask me what were you doing up there,
anyway. Well, in a nutshell, I was doing science. Mostly medical science. The
reason why we do that is because basically going to space is bad for you and it’s bad for you
in ways that resemble real disease that people can have on Earth. In space, these
problems develop very quickly. These are people in excellent health. So we’re
like the perfect guinea pigs for medical research. And Canada in particular has really focused its
efforts on medical experiments. So we are doing research, a lot of research in
areas that will benefit everyone on earth, hundreds of experiments, thousands since the
beginning of the International Space Station’s existence. And then I had the
chance to use our robot, your robot, Canadarm 2. I must tell you it was a highlight of the expedition
because we trained for that for years in Houston and here at CSA. You know by the way, every astronaut, every
cosmonaut in the world has to come here for training at some point of their career to learn
how to operate the Canadarm. But you train on it basically using a video game,
right? A very good video game. And you know that. That it’s not real. You can’t
really break anything. But when you’re there, gulp, there’s a whole
feeling in the throat, I better get it right, there’s a lot of people watching. No pressure. But
it’s amazing that, you know, this arm was designed to build space stations
and it was used to build space station piece by piece. With great success. It was fantastic.
And then, one day, the question came up, oh, could we maybe use it to catch cargo
spacecrafts? But it wasn’t designed for that. So we asked the
robotics engineers at the Canadian Space Agency, do you think you can do
that? And initially, it was woah. That’s tall order but, of course, Canadian
engineers stood up to the task and CSA figured out a way and now it’s almost – not
necessarily routine but we do this really really often. We completely
depend on Canadarm. There isn’t a major operation on space station that
does not depend on Canadian robotic technology and that has made me so proud all the
time. So this amazing robot that we got to use. I had a sense of relief when the time to capture
everything was ok and all the lights green were green and it was fine. Yes. Another high
point, of course, was the chance I had to put on a space suit and go outside the
space station. It’s something every astronaut wishes they have
to do, but you know, you never know. There’s no guarantee but we train thousands of
hours to get ready for this. And again it’s a huge team work, because not
only – it’s not that you put on a suit and go outside, right. You need trainers for thousands of hours so you
learn to use a space suit. When you’re inside the space station, you
depend on each other to dress each other up, to prepare the airlock to bring people out safely. All the ground teams who wrote the procedures,
who thought about the trajectory that we will follow. So it’s a paradox. We don’t
really feel alone in the spacesuit. You really get this strong feeling that you are a
representative of this giant team and people ask me, do you feel very small? It’s
strange, but you don’t. You – when I was there in my suit with just my
visor between me and space, with the Earth, beautiful Earth rolling gently under me, I felt like I
was a part of this giant thing which is the human mind. The human mind has
such an enormous reach. You can imagine the size of a person on Earth. Of
course, physically people are small, but their minds, the whole humanity has such an
incredible reach. And here I am, here I am representing them,
comfortable inside this miniature spacecraft. That’s unbelievable. It was really emotional to be
able to kind of be this extension of humanity in this completely hostile place. Yet, I felt very
comfortable. I had the friendly voice of CAPCOM in my ear to
give me advice and I didn’t feel alone. It was amazing. It was amazing. So it’s another
demonstration of, you know, the human aspect, the human space is really where discoveries are.
And then, it’s a busy time. It’s a busy time on board but there’s always time
for relaxation. You have to make time to enjoy the experience
and what better way to share it than by going to
the cupola and floating around. I loved to do this every day. First thing I would do
in the morning is open the window – the cupola shutters, I look at the Earth and try to
guess where I am. I got pretty good at the end. Especially when you
fly over Canada, because our coastline is so easy to recognize
the West Coast or the East Coast. It’s easy to recognize, of course, if you turn your
head like this, the Gaspe Peninsula. And it was – I loved to call people I knew
whenever I was flying over them. Seeing the ballet of the Earth and the Moon from
sky – from space. Seeing that, I don’t know if you – me, the most
impressive thing in there is this little blue layer. The atmosphere is pretty much here, there, but
you can only live in this part, more or less. And it’s so thin compared to the size of the Earth.
The oceans are about the same thickness as the atmosphere. It’s like a thin layer of varnish
on our planet. And when you look at the station, you think, yes,
it’s an incredible machine keeping us alive. There are six of us here, alive in space because
of that. But we’re looking at the Earth. They say that’s amazing. It keeps billions of
people alive in the deadly environment of space. And there are no pipes that bring water or air to
Earth. It’s all recycled. So we live in this amazing life-support system,
our planet Earth. And I think we owe that notion to the Space
Program and this – particularly the new generation. I know they’re
very, very acutely aware of the responsibility we have towards our planet and space is not
just a way to look at our Earth. It’s a way to take care of our planet. So when I
was a child, these are the images that kind of fascinated me. I
remember the moment I realized what I was looking at. Like there must have been
some camera very far away from Earth to take that photo. They were actually on the
Moon. And if you’re a small child, you know the Moon is far away. I mean it’s in the
sky there. And so that perspective, the change of perspective really motivated me to
– I didn’t want to become an astronaut because it was impossible when I was a child. There was
no – we didn’t have these champions that made the Space Program possible for our
Canadians, but we got there eventually. But I was motivated to become an explorer, to
expand my perspective of the world. My dream was to understand everything. It’s
impossible but I thought I would try. I thought, I’m going to stay in school. I’m going to
go to university. I’m going to learn a profession. I’m going to stay in shape. I’m going to travel. I will
learn foreign languages, and above all I will try to become a responsible
adult so that one day I can, perhaps I will be given a mission. I don’t know. So
that has been a guide my whole life. Thank you very much, David, for the
presentation. We’ll now take a few questions from the room.
We have a few questions from the room, but Minister Bains, I believe, may have a first
question for you. Yes, no, thank you very much to get the
conversation started because we have students here as well that I know are
very eager to ask you questions as well and I’m just sitting here in awe. I’m
absolutely thrilled to be here, to be part of this special day along with the
Canadian Space Agency. We have incredible people here that work day in
and day out. As you said, it takes a village. It’s a team effort and we’re really excited about
your trip and everything that you’ve accomplished and you’ve given us a little glimpse into your
journey. But we also have some other astronauts that
were preparing for future missions as well, Jeremy, Jenni and Josh. So what advice do you
have for them now after this experience? Because one is, you know, training as you said
thousands and thousands of hours. But now, you’ve actually gone up there. You’ve
had this incredibly experience. What kind of advice do you have for astronauts
that are preparing? So, yes, this is our team right now, the astronaut
core: Jeremy, Jenni, Josh and myself. Jeremy is a very accomplished astronaut already
and we’ve been caught at the same time. So he’s really advanced. He’s actually the chief
of all the younger astronauts, in Houston, not just Canadians, but all of them. And Josh and
Jenni, they’re about to finish their basic training. And they’re amazing people. I know they will
push it even further than we have pushed it. So my advice to them was, hey, it’s worth it. It’s
tough but don’t despair. It is well worth it. And also, never forget the team that allow you to
do this. You know, nobody goes to space alone. We have a joke in the international office. When
you see a frog on top of a fence pole, he didn’t get there alone. Someone had to put the
frog there. So astronauts, we stand on the shoulders of giants. So never forget the people who put you there. And it starts with every elementary school teacher you ever had. That’s right. It starts with any friend you ever had who encouraged you, your parents. And then, along the way you know people at work and at school. So we – and that’s true of everybody. We’re all like the product of a village. We are all the product of the interactions we have with each other. And that’s where there’s really the joy of accomplishing projects. It’s to be able to share this with more people. The more people who share the success of the project, the more joy there is. Thank you David. We’re going to move on to a few questions from the young people who are visiting us today. If you want to take a place next to Minister Bains. Hi. Hello. My name is Alexander. How many teachers prepared you for your mission? It depends on where you start. If you start in elementary school, there are many of them. Each of them helped me. At NASA – let’s work backwards. At NASA, and here at the Agency and in Japan and in Europe, in the space world I’ve probably had – I’ve never counted them but I would say it’s hundreds of people who technically prepared me for a task to accomplish. But my training started long before that. Everything I learned in university and before that in CEGEP, and before that in high school, and before that in elementary school, it also prepared me. So there are probably thousands of people who have left a small mark. Hello. Hello. My name is Sophie Gentile. Is there a lot of room in the rocket ship? That’s a no Sophie. There’s not much room. Come here, you’ll see. I’ll show you what it’s like. We’ll get together with the Minister. Come, come, come, come. You’ll see. There are three of us in the rocket. So you, you are going to be the commander. The commander is in the middle. You have to be so close that your shoulders touch like this. We’re like this, like this, like this. And then we have our knees bent and you know, we have a lot of luggage. We can’t even see each other. We can only see everyone in the same dial. We can see the dials. We can see the control screens and we can only see our hands. It’s incredible, isn’t it? We’re stuck together. We can only see each other’s hands. That’s teamwork, just with our hands. It’s really crowded. And then, when you get to the station, there’s plenty of room. Now we can jump. We can stretch. We each have a bedroom. There is much more room in the station. But the rocket is very small. That’s the way it is. Hello. My name is Victor. And my question is, what did you do for work in space? Yeah, Victor, well, the station is mainly a place to do research. It’s a laboratory, right? Maybe in school you started doing a little science, science classes. So we did a lot of experiments on ourselves and experiments with machines on samples that we brought from the ground, for example. After that, things, more physics-based experiments, that is, we studied, for example, how fire works in space. How materials resist in space. So more research in physics. After that, there was a lot of repair work to do, because the station is a big machine that keeps us alive and there is always something that breaks. So maybe half of my time was maintenance or repairs, changing something, fixing the toilet. Sometimes it’s very simple things like that. And then very rare events, well, it was putting on the suit to go outside and using the Canadian arm to make repairs, to catch a cargo ship outside. That’s it. Thank you. Bye. One last one from one of the children. Hello. Hello. My name is Maëlle. And my question is, is the international space station like a house? Yes, Maëlle, that’s a good question. But it’s a funny house, because you know most people in the morning they leave their homes to go to work. My work was in my house. So there is a part of the station that is a laboratory. Then, there’s a part where there are our bedrooms. There’s a part where there’s our kitchen. A part where you exercise. A part where there’s a toilet. A part where we wash ourselves. There’s a part where there’s all the storage. But all this is like a big house – it’s like staying in your house for six months. You can’t go outside. Yeah, it’s strange, huh, but I went outside once. Just before we finish, we have two questions from Agency employees. I’m James Doherty. I know you. David. You described space as hostile environment and I was wondering whether you experienced any physical discomfort during that prolonged period of weightlessness? And whether since you’ve returned to Earth’s gravity any of those issues have been resolved? Yes. So let me go from the beginning. So the first thing that happens when you go to space is that you lose the sensation of gravity. Now, there’s always gravity. It’s always there, right. I just want to make a quick reminder of physics here, to understand. See here is the planet. You see the curve of the Earth. The station is orbiting the Earth. What does that mean? That means that the station is going so fast that although it’s falling, the curve, its fall, is matching the orbit of the Earth. So you’re always falling and you never reach the ground. So you’re like falling in an elevator. To you, it looks like the walls are not moving and you are stationary. You’re not. Anyway, you lose the sense of gravity and that completely confuses your brain. Because if you’re turning around you see the images moving but in your brain nothing happens. It’s like you, what? Shouldn’t the feeling of gravity follow the feeling of my eyes moving? So it’s very, very confusing. So very quickly your mind just disconnects that gravity sensor. And then you’re happy and then you spend months and months and months flying around, turning, tumbling. You don’t feel anything. But when you come back to Earth, then it’s different. Because suddenly, gravity is back and your mind has to scramble to remember how to use that information. So still to this day I’m still feeling those effects like now I’m standing up straight because I can see which way is up. But as soon as I close my eyes, you know I can feel a slight sway because that gravity sensor is not quite back on. It will take more time. Eventually, it will come back but not quite. That’s one effect. Another effect is that your blood when you’re standing on Earth, you know gravity tends to pull your blood to your feet and not so much in your head. So your heart has to push harder, right. When you go to space, you don’t have that so you’ve got a big red, puffy head and skinny white legs. And so it’s very – your congestion is very uncomfortable. Just that makes you a little bit dizzy and then your body learns to change that and then you become normal again. You’re in space. You’re happy. It’s fine. You come back to Earth… and then all your blood falls to your legs again. You get big, red feet. And you are pale and you want to faint. That’s why we all look sort of kind of ghastly. That’s what I was thinking. Because the blood is falling to your legs. So that takes – now, I’m ok for that pretty much, but it takes a few days for your body to remember how to do that trick of keeping blood through your head. So these are the two bigger effects. There is other stuff. I mean we could talk forever. Every system of your body is affected. You mentioned pain. I didn’t have that, I’m lucky, but some people have very bad back pain because your spine kind of remodeled itself as you’re having to stand up differently. There’s a very funny, very interesting thing I noticed – when you’re in space, you don’t walk, right. So you don’t use your feet much, not the bottom of your feet. They become very smooth. It becomes like baby skin on the bottom of the feet. But the top gets very hard, because we’re constantly gripping ourselves on the handles. There are hand grips but they are used as foot grips. So we put our feet underneath it – like this here. Under the bars. That’s how we stand. So on top of my foot, here, my big toe is like crocodile skin. It’s really hard. My toe tendon is super strong. It’s like a claw. These are astronaut’s feet. This will come back. Hello. My name is Raki Diara and my question is, is there anything that has surprised you or surprises you since coming back? Anything in particular, physical or mental? Yes. Well, that’s interesting. It’s all that is – yesterday, I was with my parents on the lakefront at the cottage. It was very nice. There were clouds and a sunset. And it seems like I’m trying to project my view backwards. Because I’ve often looked from space to find that place. Where’s the cottage? And it seems like I can – I’m surprized to see how I’m able to imagine the size of the Earth. I’m able to picture the thickness of the atmosphere from below. I can picture where the station is, how high it is. It’s – now, it’s no longer abstract for me. It’s something I’ve seen that’s part of my perspective of the world. So, that’s it, I am, it’s like the two experiences that start – my life on Earth and my life in space. The two experiences begin to intertwine, to connect with each other, to become just life experience. That’s really beautiful, David. Thank you. Unfortunately that’s all the time we have today. We’re going to give Minister Bains the chance to ask one more question. Sure. You know, again, thank you very much for sharing your experiences. It’s been inspirational. As you can see, the kids are excited. Everyone is excited. But while you were in space, we made announcement here to commit to a long-term space strategy. The Prime Minister was here, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and made an announcement about our commitment to the Lunar Gateway Initiative. So I wanted to get a perspective from you on that in terms of, you know, Marc Garneau being the first Canadian astronaut in space. Roberta Bondar being the first female in space and inspiring so many people. But we want to have a long-term space program. From your perspective, what does this mean particularly for young people? Because you’ve alluded to that on many occasions. Yes. So thanks for the question because it is an important topic for me. One thing that amazes me about space – I’m talking about many things that amaze me, the collaboration, the perspective on the environment, on the technology, but it’s also the scale of things. The scale in space so Earth is big. We’re flying high. We’re going fast. Everything is going fast. But the scale in time. The decisions that led to my space flight, opportunity, were taken decades ago when we started the robotics program. Right? That’s right. We were taken by people who didn’t really realize but they were making opportunities for children who were just born. Same thing now. As Canada, as we continue to remain in the club of nations that push the boundaries of knowledge, of exploration, we are making decisions that give opportunities for kids. And the seeds of dream that we can plan in minds of children that is wealth of our country. That’s why our future is. It’s in the brain of children. And so Canada has joined NASA and this project are going back to the Moon. We are going to continue providing great robotics work. And I can tell you, seeing it from the inside it’s really endearing how well appreciated the engineering is, how a trusted partner we have become. They – it really makes me proud every day. Every time I hear about robotics, it’s just a success. So to give that to our children, to have the courage to make these decisions for the long- term, for decades keep us going. And of course, you know, the priority will never be space, I mean healthcare and employment and security and the environment. These are – we have to do that. But we have to keep a small fraction of our energy, of our resources, of our intelligence, of our time to move forward to do the arts — That’s right. To do science and to do exploration. And that’s with these three things that we do with the little spare time which we have. That’s how humanity progresses. That’s right. That’s how we slowly from one generation to the next accrue a bit more knowledge, create a bit more beauty, a bit more sense and progress. So I think I’m really grateful that our government has had the courage to continue on that path of giving opportunities for the next generation to contribute a little bit to our collective advancement. Thank you, David. You can only imagine you’re going to be in high demand in the coming weeks and months after the scientists are done with all the tests that they will be conducting on you. I think soon I’m not going to be interesting for them. So then they’ll set me free. But thank you again for being, like I said, a national hero, a true inspiration and really inspiring the next generation of Canadians, like you said, to think big and the sky is not the limit. That’s my last pun. And can we please get a round of applause for David. Well, thank you very much everyone. We’ll end the event here. That marks the end of our event. We’ll ask the kids to go up for a group photo and then we have a brief Q&A with media that are on site. Come on kids!

8 Replies to “LIVE – David Saint-Jacques welcomed at the Canadian Space Agency”

  1. Wonderful talk! We live only a few kilometres from where this event was taking place. I do wish that we could have attended. Yet, so thankful to CSA for uploading this for us all to watch and to listen to. What David, his peers, and numerous space agencies have done is exceptional. 👩‍🚀🌻

  2. Nice speech. What an amazing team! I hope I’ll be an astronaut one day mashallah inshallah

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