WASHINGTON — Ask Marc Garneau if he’d like to return to area, and the first Canadian to make the journey does not hesitate: “In no time.”

Whether or not the now-retired former astronaut and member of parliament from Quebec – at the age of 74 he lastly gave up his seat in the decrease home three weeks in the past – nonetheless has what it takes is one other matter, in fact.

“You always wonder when you reach a certain age, will you still have the skills that you had when you were younger,” stated Garneau, who flew on three House Shuttle missions between 1984 and 2001. “

“Having flown three times, I consider myself blessed beyond all reasonable expectation in life.”

As the nation’s pre-eminent ‘elder statesman’, Garneau has lengthy seemed ahead to the day when the subsequent astronaut can be inducted into the pantheon of pioneering explorers to obtain the ‘first Canadian’ honour.

who would that be? The world will know on Monday.

Then NASA and the Canadian area company will unveil 4 astronauts — three from the United States, one from Canada — who will conduct the subsequent part of an formidable plan to set up a long-term presence on the Moon.

Artemis II is scheduled for launch in early November 2024 and can be the first manned mission to the Moon since the final Apollo mission launched in 1972.

The Canadian astronaut corps at present consists of 4 folks, together with David Saint-Jacques, a Montreal-based astrophysicist and physician and the solely member of the group to have been in area.

Saint-Jacques, 53, flew to the Worldwide House Station in 2018. She was chosen for the corps in 2009 together with Jeremy Hansen, 47, of London, Ontario, a colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Power and CF-18 pilot.

In 2017, check pilot and Air Power Lt.-Col. Joshua Kutryk, 41, of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and Jennifer Saidy, 34, a mechanical engineer and professor at the College of Cambridge in Calgary.

“I’m not envious or jealous in any way,” Garneau stated. “I’m just so excited that we’re now taking a big, big step forward with Canada.”

It is not an enormous bounce from 1969, however it’s about 4,500 miles away, to be precise.

4 Artemis astronauts will orbit their dwelling planet earlier than launching into area for 8 maneuvers round the Moon, making Canada and the US the solely two nations to have ever crossed over to the darkish facet of the lunar floor.

“When I think back to 1984, when I first took off, we didn’t know what would happen after that,” Gurno stated.

“For Canada to now have the opportunity to become the second country to send astronauts on a lunar mission is extraordinary.”

It is also the results of an amazing quantity of arduous work and funding, stated Western College professor Gordon Osinski, director of the college’s Institute for Earth and House Analysis.

Osinski participated in a simulated spacewalk final week in Houston to higher study and perceive the methods future astronauts will want to carry out on the lunar floor.

Whereas circuitously associated to Artemis, this analysis will definitely be an necessary issue as the last missions evolve into one thing that bears little resemblance to their Apollo progenitors.

“I can do geology on Earth with Star Trek-like equipment that tells me the chemistry of the rock. It was unimaginable 50 years ago,” Osinski stated.

“As we move forward with the whole Artemis program, I think you’re really going to see 21st century space exploration as we can imagine from Star Trek and other things.”

Even now, Osinski is nonetheless incredulous that Canada managed to safe a spot on Artemis II — and he credit every thing from the nation’s geographic and financial ties with the US to the ongoing work of the Canadian Astronaut Corps.

Then there’s the Canadarm, the articulated distant manipulators which have turn out to be an integral a part of the House Shuttle and Worldwide House Station missions and a degree of nationwide satisfaction for numerous Canadians of a sure age.

Osinski stated, “America let go and said, ‘Okay, Canada, we trust you enough to put the lives of our astronauts in your hands. ‘”

“That belief probably explains a lot of how we did it.”

There are plans to ship a person and a lady to the Moon in 2025 to obtain the final objective: finally sending astronauts to Mars. And Canada is anticipated to play an necessary position in the future.

“We are going back to the moon. The moon, that is a big deal,” Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne stated final week.

“This is great work Canada is doing on the world stage.”

This may occasionally finally be Artemis II’s biggest legacy for Canada: inspiring the subsequent era of astronauts in the similar means that Apollo did all these years in the past.

Nevertheless, this time the optics can be spectacular.

“As much as we’re excited about the robot and the Canadarm and such, having a personal experience with that could be a big moment and a big milestone for Canada’s space program,” Osinski stated.

“When an astronaut does that it has something to do with it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed on April 2, 2023.

James McCartan, The Canadian Press


By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *