June 25, 2019 5:22 pm

Canadian astronaut’s time in space builds knowledge for Mars: Western University expert

A Russian space agency rescue team helps astronaut David Saint-Jacques get out of the capsule shortly after the landing of the Russian Soyuz MS-11 space capsule about 150 kilometres southeast of the Kazakh town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, Tuesday, June 25, 2019.

Alexander Nemenov/Pool Photo via AP

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques may be back on Earth, but the impact of his time is space will be long-lasting.

Saint-Jacques was the last to be carried out of the Soyuz capsule after it landed in Kazakhstan, and the astronaut gave a thumbs-up as he emerged.

READ MORE: Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth

Dr. Gordon Osinski, director of Western University’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, tells Global News Radio 980 CFPL there will be a lot to learn from Saint-Jacques’ time in space and its impact on the human body, noting that travelling to Mars would require longer time in space.

WATCH: (June 24, 2019) Adjusting to being back on planet Earth

“Despite two or three hours of exercise a day, he’ll have undergone bone and muscle loss. His cardiovascular system will be affected,” Osinski explained.

“When we’re planning to send humans off to the moon and Mars — and then I always say, you know, they’re not going to have people to welcome them on Mars — they’re going to have to land and then get up themselves and make their way onto the surface.”

READ MORE: Life on Mars was possible 4 billion years ago, say Western University researchers

Saint-Jacques spent 204 days in space, the longest single spaceflight by a Canadian.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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