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Space talk: Former astronaut Julie Payette on Odysseus landing, total solar eclipse


An American spacecraft now sits at the south pole of the moon, making it the first United States moon landing since the Apollo program 50 years ago.

The Odysseus spacecraft, nicknamed Odie, is a joint project for NASA and a private, Houston-based company, Intuitive machines.

Julie Payette, a scientist and former Canadian astronaut, spoke with CTV Montreal anchor Mutsumi Takahashi about why this feat is significant and how it's laying the groundwork for the upcoming Artemis mission.

This image provided by Intuitive Machines on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024 shows its Odysseus lunar lander over the south pole region of the Moon. (Intuitive Machines via AP)

She also took the opportunity to discuss the total solar eclipse that's happening on April 8 and how people can watch the rare event safely. Looking at the sun without protection can cause permanent eye damage, except for a brief moment of totality. When the sun is 100 per cent obscured by the moon, it is safe to not use special sunglasses.

The ISO 12312-2 standard for solar viewing glasses can be purchased online, Payette said. Space lovers can also make their own eclipse projector using a cardboard box and other household items.

While partial solar eclipses are more common, the last time Quebec saw a total solar eclipse was more than 50 years ago, in 1972. The next one will be in 2106. 

More information about eye protection during a solar eclipse is available at and on the Canadian Space Agency's website.  

Watch the video above for the full interview. Top Stories

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