First week in space transformative physically, emotionally: David Saint-Jacques

David Saint-Jascques ISS public broadcast

Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques says he has spent much of his first week in space trying to get himself grounded.

“Initially, my brain kept on looking for which way is up and which way is down,” he said, in his first public broadcast from the International Space Station since leaving Earth’s atmosphere, on December 3rd.

“Already, after a week, I feel far less confused,” he said.

Despite years of preparation and training, he says, nothing can prepare you for weightlessness.

“I do the typical rookie mistakes, trying not to crash anywhere,” he said. “Our colleagues are teaching us how to fly.”

As he spoke, his shoulders were hunched, as if he hasn’t quite figured out how to rest his body in zero-gravity. He bobbed in place and twirled his handheld microphones while taking questions.

“It’s easy to get lost,” he said, admitting he still has a lot to adjust to, “but we’ll get used to it.”

It has been a week of transformations, both physical and emotional.

Sleeping has been hard, he said. It could be partly due to the adrenaline and the constant time changes.

It could also be because the views are too good to pass up.

“It is just a never ending sense of awe looking at our blue planet,” he said. “That thin blue line of atmosphere, that colour, that flash of blue is just unbelievable.”

He says the whole experience has been perspective altering.

“It’s very touching and very humbling,” he said, describing the moment he first set eyes on the Earth below his feet. “It makes you want to go back to Earth and make it better.”

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