Canadian astronaut says launch most dangerous part of upcoming space mission
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques speaks to reporters during a news conference in Ottawa on June 2, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 29, 2018 12:16PM EST
MONTREAL - Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques is bracing for some tense moments during next Monday's launch of the Soyuz rocket that will send him and two others to the International Space Station.
On Oct. 11, a rocket failure forced a Soyuz capsule carrying two astronauts to abort and make an emergency landing. Russia suspended all manned space launches pending an investigation before giving the green light Nov. 1.
Saint Jacques spoke to reporters today from the launch site in Kazakhstan where he's in quarantine. He said the most dangerous part of the six-month mission is the 10-minute Soyuz launch and the six hours that follow before docking.
He said half of the last two-and-half years of training was dedicated to his role as Soyuz co-pilot for the trip to the space station.
Saint-Jacques, 48, said once at the space station he'll be able to focus on work and life aboard the outpost.
The Canadian astronaut's first space voyage, with NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Oleg Kononenkoof of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, was originally scheduled to launch Dec. 20. It was moved ahead after Russian authorities concluded their investigation into the failed launch.