David Saint-Jacques

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David Saint-Jacques
David Saint-Jacques official portrait.jpg
CSA Astronaut
Nationality Canadian
Status Active
Born (1970-01-06) January 6, 1970 (age 48)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Other occupation
University of Cambridge
École Polytechnique de Montréal
Université Laval
Time in space
Currently in space
Selection 2009 CSA Group
Missions Soyuz MS-11 (Expedition 58/59)
Mission insignia
Soyuz-MS-11-Mission-Patch.png ISS Expedition 58 Patch.png ISS Expedition 59 Patch.png

David Saint-Jacques (French pronunciation: ​[david sɛ̃ʒak], in Quebec: [davɪd sẽɪ̯̃nʒã(ŋ)k̚]; born January 6, 1970)[1] is a Canadian astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). He was also an engineer, an astrophysicist, and a physician prior to joining the CSA. He was selected to join the CSA in the 2009 CSA selection along with Jeremy Hansen.

Personal life

Saint-Jacques was born in Quebec City and raised in the Montreal suburb of Saint-Lambert, Quebec. Saint-Jacques is married and has three children.[2] He is a lifelong mountaineer, hiker, cyclist, skier, and passionate sailor.[1][2] He also holds a commercial pilot license.[2] He is fluent in French and English, and has a basic understanding of Russian, Spanish and Japanese.[1][2][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.[2] Saint-Jacques is affiliated with the Collège des médecins du Québec, 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.[2] Saint-Jacques began his career in 1993 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.[2][4]

During 1994-98, 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.[2] 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.[5] In 2001, he joined the Astrophysics group at the Department de physique, Université de Montréal.[2][6]

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.[1]

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 has moved to Houston to be one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class.[2][4] He recently 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.[2]

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.[7] Delayed by stormy weather and high seas, the mission began on October 20, 2011.[8][9] 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.[8]

In May 2016 he was selected as a member of a future expedition to the ISS in November 2018, Expedition 58/59.[10]


Saint-Jacques holds a BEng in Engineering Physics from the École polytechnique de Montréal, where he graduated in 1993.[1] He later graduated in 1998 with a PhD in astrophysics,[5] from the Cavendish Astrophysics Group at the University of Cambridge. Saint-Jacques completed postdoctoral research at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan between 1999–2001 where he worked on the development and application of the Mitaka Infrared Interferometer in Japan and Subaru Telescope Adaptive Optics System in Hawaii.[2][4][11] He also holds a Doctor of Medicine from Université Laval completed in 2005 and completed a Family medicine residency at McGill University (2007) (specializing in first-line, isolated medical practice).[1]

Academic distinctions

Honors and Awards

Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society


 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document "NASA – Meet the NEEMO 15 Crew". Retrieved on 2011-09-19.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document "Astronaut Candidate Bio: David Saint-Jacques (10/2011)". Retrieved on 2012-02-12.

  1. ^ a b c d e f National Aeronautics and Space Administration (September 15, 2011). "NASA – Meet the NEEMO 15 Crew". NASA. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Astronaut Candidate Bio: David Saint-Jacques (10/2011)". NASA. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  3. ^ "David Saint-Jacques". Canadian Space Agency. 2009-05-14. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  4. ^ a b c d "DOCTORAT HONORIS CAUSA" (PDF). École Polytechnique de Montréal. 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  5. ^ 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 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2009-05-16.; View as HTML.
  6. ^ David Saint-Jacques; et al. (2004-02-25). "Performance of Subaru Cassegrain Adaptive Optics System" (PDF). PASJ. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-21. Retrieved 2012-02-12.
  7. ^ NASA (September 19, 2011). "NASA – NASA Announces 15th Undersea Exploration Mission Date And Crew". NASA. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  8. ^ a b NASA (October 27, 2011). "NASA – NEEMO 15 Topside Reports". NASA. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
  9. ^ Walker, Shannon (October 21, 2011). "NEEMO 15 – Splashdown Day!". NASA. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  10. ^ http://asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/missions/expedition58-59/default.asp
  11. ^ David Saint-Jacques; et al. (2002-12-25). "Near-Infrared Coronagraphy of the GG Tauri A Binary System" (PDF). PASJ. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-04-17. Retrieved 2012-02-12.

External links

  • Astronaut Candidate Bio: David Saint-Jacques (09/2009)
  • Spacefacts biography of David Saint-Jacques

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