On Wednesday astronaut Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to take command of the International Space Station (ISS).
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Hadfield was continuing a Canadian tradition of pushing the boundaries of exploration.
“His pursuit of excellence in his field and his achievements in space are a tremendous source of national pride and can most aptly be described as stellar,” he said.
Queen Elizabeth II and other dignitaries also noted the assignment.
Marc Garneau, Canada’s first man in space and former head of the Canadian Space Agency, also commended Hadfield’s assignment.
“I am delighted that Chris, my good friend Chris is now, today, going to be the commander of the International Space Station. I can’t think of a better suited Canadian for that task. He is just a fantastic friend and I think all Canadians are very proud of him.”
Garneau made the comments at a press conference to announce his withdrawal from the Liberal leadership race. He joked that twitter has helped give Hadfield a rockstar status that might have aided Garneau’s chances in the leadership race had Twitter been around when he went to space.
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