ST-HUBERT, Que. – Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques says he is slowly getting used to life in space.
The Quebecer spoke to reporters for the first time today since arriving at the International Space Station Dec. 3. The Canadian Space Agency set up a video link at its headquarters south of Montreal.
Saint-Jacques says he is adjusting to the sensation of living in microgravity, proving his point by dropping his microphone and continuing to talk as it remained floating in place.
“I can still feel sort of a sense of congestion, as if, you remember as a child hanging from the monkey bars in the park, how your head kind of puffs up, that’s kind of how you feel constantly,” he says.
He says he was thunderstruck when he emerged from the Soyuz capsule that brought him to the station along with fellow astronauts Anne McClain of NASA and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.
He says he was dazzled by the sight of the sun rising over Earth and by the general beauty of the cosmos.
“That was quite an emotional moment, as I looked out the window and this little blue crescent started to get brighter and brighter and I realized ‘wow this is actually the curve of the earth.’ So that first sight, that first sunrise on orbit, I will never forget.”
The 48-year-old physician is expected to conduct a series of experiments in orbit on topics such as the physical impacts of gravity on the body.