The final frontier just got a little easier to explore for us on the ground thanks to the Canadian Space Agency and astronaut David Saint-Jacques.
On Tuesday the agency, with help from Saint-Jacques, Dr. Roberta Bondar and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, unveiled a new interactive, web-based activity that uses photos taken by Saint-Jacques while on his mission on the International Space Station.
WATCH: David Saint-Jacques on life in space
According to the agency, Exploring Earth uses the photos taken by Saint-Jacques to show the distinctive geological and man-made features on Earth and the activity explains the science behind them.
New photos and content will be added weekly beginning Tuesday and will continue until the end of Saint-Jacques’ mission.
Bondar was also on hand to announce the project. She was the first Canadian woman and first neuroscientist in space and, coincidentally, Tuesday marked the 27th anniversary of her first flight into space. The photos she’s taken during her work on climate change and migratory birds will also be used in the project.
Saint-Jacques spoke from space to the students in attendance about his time on the International Space Station and explained how they took the photos.
He said the photos were taken through a dome-shaped window called a cupola with the same tech used on Earth. Saint-Jacques spoke about the many things he’s taken photos of throughout his mission, listing some of his favourite phenomena to capture.
“The most beautiful amazing thing I’ve seen here is the northern lights,” said Saint-Jacques. “It’s beautiful and incredible. They’re below us when we’re up here so imagine looking down on green, fluorescent light. It’s unbelievably beautiful.”
Saint-Jacques’ mission, dubbed Expedition 58, will see the Canadian astronaut spend about six and a half months in space doing various experiments, testing technologies and taking photos.