David Saint-Jacques: Dare to explore... Earth!

News release

New initiative teaches about Earth using pictures taken from space

January 22, 2019, Ottawa, Ontario – While in space, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut David Saint-Jacques is using his vantage point from aboard the International Space Station to explore Earth. He is observing our planet to better understand its geological, environmental and ecological systems.

During a space-to-Earth connection today, Saint-Jacques launched Exploring Earth, a Web-based initiative uses photos he is taking in orbit to explain the amazing science of how Earth works. Georeferenced on an interactive world map, the photos showcase geological and man-made features and are accompanied by detailed and accessible science information and also highlight the important contribution of satellites in monitoring the planet.

In the presence of CSA astronaut Jenni Sidey-Gibbons and local students, Saint-Jacques and Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada's first woman astronaut, shared their experience of seeing Earth from space and how it has influenced their lives, and discussed the importance of protecting our environment.

While this activity is designed for teachers and students from grades 4 to 12, anyone can browse through the collection of photos of the wonders of Earth taken from space.


"Canada has been a leader in Earth observation for over 25 years. Thanks to our world-beating satellites, Exploring Earth will give students the opportunity to better understand our planet and inspire them to study in STEM fields."

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"I have always been fascinated by our home planet. Now, I have a chance to look at it from a completely different vantage point. I really want to share this unique perspective with students and Canadians. Through my photos, I want them to develop an interest in understanding how our planet works, and I hope this knowledge will give us all the urge to better protect it."

- David Saint-Jacques, Canadian Space Agency astronaut

"When I flew aboard Discovery in 1992, my in-flight role included photographing our planet. The perspective that I had then was truly remarkable and left me with a whole new view of science, myself and the future of planet Earth. I truly believe that through photos and art, we can educate and improve knowledge of science and the environment. This project encompasses both."

- Roberta Bondar, former member of the Canadian Astronaut Corps, scientist, professional nature and landscape photographer, author, founder of The Roberta Bondar Foundation

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Space Agency developed Exploring Earth in collaboration with Ingenium – Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation, the Roberta Bondar Foundation, Canadian Geographic Education, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Western University.

  • The project involves two Canadian astronauts, Dr. Roberta Bondar and Dr. David Saint-Jacques, and will highlight their perspective of Earth to tell the story of our planet and ongoing human impacts on the environment. Dr. Bondar is also a professional nature and landscape photographer. For this project, she will share her knowledge of bird migratory pathways and the impact of climate change on behaviours and habitats of birds, along with some of her photographic works.

  • New photos and content will be added weekly until the end of Saint-Jacques' mission.

Associated links


Canadian Space Agency
Media Relations Office
Telephone: 450-926-4370
Website: asc-csa.gc.ca
Email: ASC.Medias-Media.CSA@canada.ca
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