David Saint-Jacques
Saint-Jacques wearing a blue uniform
Official portrait, 2008
Born (1950-01-23) January 23, 1950 (age 74)
Space career
CSA astronaut
NASA astronaut
Time in space
203d 15h 16m[1]
Selection2009 CSA Group
NASA Group 20 (2009)
Total EVAs
MissionsSoyuz MS-11 (Expedition 58/59)
Mission insignia
Scientific career
ThesisAstronomical Seeing in Space and Time: A Study of Atmospheric Turbulence in Spain and England, 1994-98 (1999)

David Saint-Jacques OC OQ FRCGS[2] (Quebec French: [davɪd sẽɪ̯̃nʒã(ŋ)k̚], French pronunciation: [david sɛ̃ʒak]; born January 6, 1970)[3] is a Canadian astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). He is also an astrophysicist, engineer, and a physician.

In December 2018, he launched to the International Space Station, as Flight Engineer on Expeditions 57, 58 and 59; he returned to Earth on June 25, 2019.

Astronaut career

The NEEMO 15 crew. Left to right: Takuya Onishi, Shannon Walker, Saint-Jacques, Steve Squyres, and Aquarius habitat technicians Nate Bender and James Talacek.

Saint-Jacques was selected in May 2009 by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) as one of two CSA astronaut positions, after a long process selection attended by 5,351 candidates, and moved to Houston to be one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class.[4][5] He then graduated from Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in International Space Station systems, extravehicular activity (EVA), robotics, physiological training, T-38 flight training, Russian language and water and wilderness survival training. Since graduation, he has been assigned to the Robotics Branch of the Astronaut Office.[4]


On September 19, 2011, NASA announced that Saint-Jacques would serve as an aquanaut aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory during the NEEMO 15 undersea exploration mission from October 17–30, 2011.[6] Delayed by stormy weather and high seas, the mission began on October 20, 2011.[7][8] On the afternoon of October 21, Saint-Jacques and his crewmates officially became aquanauts, having spent over 24 hours underwater. NEEMO 15 ended early on October 26 due to the approach of Hurricane Rina.[7]

CAVES 2013

In 2013, Saint-Jacques served as cavenaut into the ESA CAVES[9] training in Sardinia, alongside Soichi Noguchi, Andreas Mogensen, Nikolai Tikhonov, Andrew Feustel and Michael Fincke.

Expeditions 57/58/59

Saint-Jacques completes the Bone Densitometer calibration in support of the Rodent Research-8 investigation during Expedition 57 at the Destiny lab
Saint-Jaques during his first spacewalk, on ISS Expedition 59

In May 2016 Saint-Jacques was selected as a member of ISS Expedition 58/59, which at the time was scheduled to start in November 2018.[10]

On December 3, 2018, Saint-Jacques launched to the ISS on board Soyuz MS-11, alongside commander Oleg Kononenko and fellow flight engineer Anne McClain.[11] He became a member of the Expedition 57 crew for two weeks before transferring to Expedition 58, which officially started on 20 December 2018 when the Expedition 57 crew left the station. Saint-Jacques, Kononenko and McClain subsequently transferred to Expedition 59 on 14 March 2019 with the arrival of Soyuz MS-12.

On April 8, 2019, Saint-Jacques conducted his first spacewalk,[12] becoming the fourth Canadian astronaut to take part in an EVA and the first to do so in 12 years. The spacewalk lasted roughly seven hours.[13]

Saint-Jacques, McClain and Kononenko returned to Earth on board Soyuz MS-11 on June 24, 2019.[1]

Education and earlier career

Saint-Jacques holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Physics from the École polytechnique de Montréal, an affiliated college of Université de Montréal, where he graduated in 1993.[3] He later graduated in 1998 with a Doctor of Philosophy in astrophysics,[14] from the Cavendish Astrophysics Group at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Saint-Jacques completed postdoctoral research at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan between 1999 and 2001, where he worked on the development and application of the Mitaka Infrared Interferometer in Japan and the Subaru Telescope Adaptive Optics System in Hawaii.[4][5][15] He also holds a Doctor of Medicine from Université Laval completed in 2005[16] and completed a Family medicine residency at McGill University (2007) (specializing in first-line, isolated medical practice).[3]

His broad scientific background includes engineering, astrophysics and medical training, with international experience in France and Hungary for engineering study and Lebanon and Guatemala for medical study.[4] Saint-Jacques is affiliated with the Collège des médecins du Québec, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, International Society for Optical Engineering, and the Cambridge Philosophical Society as a Life Fellow.[4] Saint-Jacques began his career in 1996 as a biomedical engineer at the Quebec firm Electromed with secondment to Lariboisière Hospital, working on the design of radiological equipment for angiography and image analysis algorithms of cineangiography.[4][5]

From 1994 to 1998, his studies included theoretical work on astronomical observation and design, fabrication and commissioning of instruments for the Cambridge Optical Aperture Synthesis Telescope and for the William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands.[4] During the course of this research under supervisor John E. Baldwin he made several trips abroad on sponsorship from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, the Cavendish Astrophysics Group, Corpus Christi College and the Cambridge Philosophical Society, and decided to pursue further research experience in Japan.[14] In 2001, he joined the Astrophysics group at the Department de physique, Université de Montréal.[4][17]

Prior to joining the Canadian Space Program, Saint-Jacques was a medical doctor and the Co-chief of Medicine at Inuulitsivik Health Centre in Puvirnituq, Quebec since 2007. He also worked as a Clinical Faculty Lecturer for McGill University's Faculty of Medicine, supervising medical trainees in Nunavik.[3]

Personal life

Saint-Jacques was born in Quebec City and raised in Montreal.[18] Saint-Jacques is married to Dr. Véronique Morin and has three children.[19] He is a lifelong mountaineer, hiker, cyclist, skier, and sailor.[3][4] He also holds a commercial pilot license.[4] He is fluent in French and English, and has a basic understanding of Russian, Spanish and Japanese.[3][4][20]

Academic distinctions

Honors and awards


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from NASA – Meet the NEEMO 15 Crew. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. September 15, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011.

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from Astronaut Candidate Bio: David Saint-Jacques (10/2011). National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved February 12, 2012.

  1. ^ a b Harwood, William (June 25, 2019). "3 station fliers complete "once-in-a-lifetime ride" home after 204-day stay in orbit". CBS News.
  2. ^ a b "Order of Canada appointees – December 2022". The Governor General of Canada. December 29, 2022. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f National Aeronautics and Space Administration (September 15, 2011). "NASA – Meet the NEEMO 15 Crew". NASA. Archived from the original on September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Astronaut Candidate Bio: David Saint-Jacques (10/2011)". NASA. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d "DOCTORAT HONORIS CAUSA" (PDF). École Polytechnique de Montréal. 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  6. ^ NASA (September 19, 2011). "NASA – NASA Announces 15th Undersea Exploration Mission Date And Crew". NASA. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  7. ^ a b NASA (October 27, 2011). "NASA – NEEMO 15 Topside Reports". NASA. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  8. ^ Walker, Shannon (October 21, 2011). "NEEMO 15 – Splashdown Day!". NASA. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  9. ^ Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Payler, Samuel J.; Vattano, Marco; Sauro, Francesco Maria; Turchi, Leonardo; Bessone, Loredana (July 1, 2021). "Speleology as an analogue to space exploration: The ESA CAVES training programme". Acta Astronautica. 184: 150–166. Bibcode:2021AcAau.184..150S. doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2021.04.003. hdl:11585/819077. ISSN 0094-5765. S2CID 234819922.
  10. ^ "Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques' mission". May 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Gebhardt, Chris. "100th orbital launch of 2018: International trio set for launch to Space Station – NASASpaceFlight.com". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Harding, Pete; Bergin, Chris. "Following ISS battery upgrade, EVA-54 works on power systems". NASASpaceFlight.com.
  13. ^ "Astronaut David Saint-Jacques first Canadian to perform spacewalk in 12 years". The Hamilton Spectator. April 8, 2019.
  14. ^ a b David Saint-Jacques (December 1998). "Atmospheric Seeing in Space and Time: a study of atmospheric turbulence in Spain and England, 1994-98". University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on May 18, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2009.; View as HTML.
  15. ^ David Saint-Jacques; et al. (December 25, 2002). "Near-Infrared Coronagraphy of the GG Tauri A Binary System" (PDF). PASJ. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 17, 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  16. ^ "Canadian astronaut swaps space suit for lab coat to practice medicine in pandemic". Montreal. January 29, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  17. ^ David Saint-Jacques; et al. (February 25, 2004). "Performance of Subaru Cassegrain Adaptive Optics System" (PDF). PASJ. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  18. ^ Biography of David Saint-Jacques, Retrieved Aug. 25, 2021.
  19. ^ "La femme de l'astronaute". February 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "David Saint-Jacques". Canadian Space Agency. May 14, 2009. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  21. ^ "Le Collège des médecins honore l'astronaute David Saint-Jacques" [Quebec College of Physicians honors astronaut David Saint-Jacques]. Le Journal de Montréal (in Canadian French). QMI. November 6, 2020.
  22. ^ "L'Ordre national du Québec honorera des personnalités qui ont changé le visage du Québec" (in French). Ordre national du Québec. May 11, 2021.
  23. ^ "NHL's Sidney Crosby, astronaut David Saint-Jacques among 99 named to Order of Canada". CTVNews. December 29, 2022.