Canadian commands space station for first time

March 13, 2013
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield speaks with a journalist at the Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, outside Moscow, on November 28, 2012. Hadfield became the first Canadian to assume command of the International Space Station.

With the ringing of a ceremonial bell in space to mark a crew change, astronaut Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to assume command of the International Space Station on Wednesday.

The called it "a historic milestone for our country."

Hadfield said in a Twitter message that outgoing Expedition 34 commander Kevin Ford of NASA handed him the "keys" to the spaceship, marking the start of the Hadfield-led Expedition 35.

The two men also shook hands and gave short speeches, and Ford offered Hadfield a few gifts.

A fan back on Earth, meanwhile, offered Hadfield this advice in a Twitter message: "Don't lock your keys inside the spaceship. You'd have to break into the ship and everyone would think you were stealing it."

Hadfield, 53, rocketed into space in December on a 147-day mission. It was his third trip into space and his second to the ISS.

He took the helm of the ISS—which orbits the Earth from a distance of 350 kilometers (217 miles), circling the planet every 90 minutes at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour—as three astronauts from the previous mission departed for home.

As ISS commander, Hadfield will oversee the station's operations, including over 100 , and be responsible for the safety of the crew and the station.

Explore further: Canadian to command space station in 2013

Related Stories

Canadian to command space station in 2013

September 2, 2010

Astronaut Chris Hadfield in 2013 will become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station (ISS), the Canadian Space Agency announced Thursday.

Soyuz capsule docks with space Station

December 21, 2012

A Soyuz capsule packed with three astronauts successfully docked Friday with the International Space Station, taking the size of the full crew at the orbiting laboratory to six.

Captain's log: real space chat for Star Trek crew

January 7, 2013

Fact and fiction blurred this week when a real-life astronaut boldly went where no man has gone before and conversed from orbit via Twitter with the crew of television's "Star Trek: Enterprise."

Canadian astronaut appeals for peace from space

January 10, 2013

Reflecting on a recent photo he snapped from outer space of war-torn Syria, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield appealed for peace from his perch in the sky, saying Thursday: "We're all in this together."

Video: Dragon grappled and berthed at Space Station

March 4, 2013

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft has arrived at the International Space Station. After overcoming a problem with its thrusters after reaching orbit on on Friday, today, Dragon successfully approached the Station, where it was captured ...

Recommended for you

Earth might have hairy dark matter

November 23, 2015

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought. A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of ...

Scientists detect stellar streams around Magellanic Clouds

November 23, 2015

(—Astronomers from the University of Cambridge, U.K., have detected a number of narrow streams and diffuse debris clouds around two nearby irregular dwarf galaxies called the Magellanic Clouds. The research also ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.