Design Engineering

Canadian Astronaut scheduled for lift-off for robotics-based maintenance and experiment mission

Devin Jones   


David Saint-Jacques will launch on December 19 for the International Space Station where his science experiments and robotics-based maintenance will be the longest of it's Canadian kind.


His trip, spanning from December 2018 to June 2019 will be the longest of it’s kind.

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques took part in a press-conference recently, in conjunction with the announcement of his upcoming mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on December 19.

The focus of Jacques trip will be on science experiments and helping maintain the Station during their mission through the use of various robotic technologies. Canadian space robots play an essential role on the ISS, keeping it running by replacing parts like cameras, computers, batteries, and switches. Canadarm2 and Dextre now catch and unload more and more cargo ships delivering supplies to astronauts, as space becomes more accessible. They even repair themselves in space.

“I have been training hard for this mission for many years now, and in a way I have been preparing for it all my life. Only a few more months, and I will be up there, following in the footsteps of the great Canadians who have flown to space before me,” Jacques said. “To live such an extraordinary adventure is a rare privilege, and promises to be a powerful, humbling experience. I’ll be ready, and I can’t wait!”

Jacques mission, will run from December 2018 to June 2019 making this the longest Canadian mission ever. And as an accomplished engineer, astrophysicist and medical doctor he’ll test an instrument known as a bio-analyzer, which will perform near real-time analysis of blood. Additionally Jaques will be running two other experiments while aboard the ISS:

Immuno Profile: This experiment will investigate and monitor astronauts’ immune systems over long-duration missions on board the ISS. The results may help us understand how certain diseases evolve over time, such as the reactivation of latent viral infections and age-related decreases in immune defences.

Vascular Aging: Building on previous work in space, this experiment will study the impact of weightlessness, nutrition, physical activity and radiation on the cardiovascular system and the onset of insulin resistance in orbit. This collaborative study will be the first of its kind and will provide insights that will maintain crew health and point to important lifestyle factors that can affect us on Earth.


“I am very much looking forward to the day when all of David Saint-Jacques’ training, hard work and sacrifice come to fruition with his first voyage to the International Space Station,” said  The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in a statement. “As with all of our astronauts to go to space, I know that he will showcase Canadian space innovation, and will make us all very proud.”


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