In his own humble way. Sarnia, Ontario-born astronaut Chris Hadfield has charmed the world, tweeting with William Shatner and writing a song from space with the Barenaked Ladies, all while spinning through space aboard Expedition 35.
Hadfield, who launched in the Soyuz TMA-07M flight last December 2012, is in the midst of a long duration stay on board the International Space Station as part of Expedition 35. Today, he became the first Canadian to command the International Space Station when Expedition 34 departed.
Today, Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II offered her congratulations in a short note on the Royal’s web site.
“I am pleased to transmit my personal best wishes, and those of all Canadians, to Colonel Christopher Hadfield as he takes command of the International Space Station on Wednesday. Our thoughts and best wishes are with him and the entire crew, as are our prayers for an eventual safe return to family, friends and fellow Canadians. ”
The first component of the ISS was launched in 1998, and the station has been continuously occupied for more than a dozen years. The station, which serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory for experiments in biology, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields. The ISS has been visited by astronauts and cosmonauts from 15 different nations.
Hadfield’s career in space began in 1995, aboard NASA’s second space shuttle mission to dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. In 2001, he became the first Canadian ever to walk freely in space.