Montreal – the Canadian astronaut David Saint Jacques will not have much to do with him when he leaves the country in an explosion at the International Space Station on Monday.
If it goes according to the plan, it will fly to the east from 6:31 am east of the steppes of Kazakhstan on the first Russian manned manned rocket, from the dramatically interrupted Soyuz's failure in October.
What brings in space? A small shirt that contains items such as wedding rings and a watch.
"I brought several personal items that remind me of my family, my children, my parents, my wife and the people I love on the planet, so they are mentioned mainly," he said recently, adding that his luggage is already sent forward.
There will also be several Christmas gifts that he will unearth while his family sees him back on the earth, said his wife Veronica Maureen last week.
The 48-year-old doctor and astronaut spent several years training for the six-month mission, which was initially scheduled for December 20 but was moved after the canceled launch of the Alliance.
On board the station, his role will involve conducting a number of scientific experiments, some of which will focus on the physical effects of the poor gravitational experience of the astronauts in orbit, and how to provide distant medical care.
And while he is likely to remain in contact, he says Canadians should not expect a repeat of guitar performances outside this world, which brought his predecessor Chris Hudfield international fame during his term at the space station in 2013.
"I do not think that I will try to overcome what Chris did in terms of entertainment – it's his help," said Saint-Jacques on November 29.
"Each of us goes there with our own personalities and with our own ambitions."
People around the world are expected to follow Monday's launch with additional attention, given the fate of the previous mission.
On October 11, a missile failure forced the Soyuz capsule carrying two astronauts to interrupt and make an emergency landing. Russia has suspended all launches of space pilots pending investigation before giving the green light on November 1.
The crowd on the ground in Kazakhstan will include members of the Saint-Jacques family, as well as Governor-General Julie Payte, and the former astronaut himself.
In an interview, Payette expressed confidence in Saint Jacques and the technology that would bring him into space.
"David is exceptional …. He has been working for years, and he deserves it right now," said Payette, adding that the fact that the launch has been diverted "shows to what extent everyone has full confidence in the equipment that is leaving."
Payette, who completed missions at the space station in 1999 and 2009, knows what to expect during the launch drama.
"It shakes as they say," she said. "It's very powerful – a rocket that leaves Earth's gravity, and it's very impressive for the viewer. In fact, it's very emotional when you know there are people on board."
She said the most dangerous moments would come in the moments after the launch because the rocket goes through several "critical zones" on its way to space.
Peyet did not want to say whether he would offer Saint-Jacques advice, saying only that astronauts were a closely related group.
"We are very little in Canada, they can be counted on the fingers of two hands," she said.
But while the list of astronauts may be small, both Payette and Sen Jacques emphasize the strength and importance of Canada's spatial offerings.
"I believe Canada has a big role in that community," said Saint-Jacques. "For me, it's kind of an innovative, creative, brave Canada who would like my children to live – Canada is there to stay in space."
– With files from Melanie Marquis and Peter Rakobouchuk