COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD, the ISS astronaut who has given a fascinating look at life in space through his Twitter account, has spoken of his joy at being named the new commander of the International Space Station.
Last night was his first in the new role, and Queen Elizabeth II was among those who congratulated him on the news:
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.
Hadfield has amassed a sizeable Twitter fanbase of more than half a million followers, and has proved himself to be quite the adept Tweeter. He regularly posts updates, but also keeps an eye out for requests for photos from followers – and has tweeted pictures of Ireland, for example.
Naturally, he took to Twitter to express his gratitude for the messages of support he received after the news was announced:
In a statement, Cmdr Hadfield said: “It is a tremendous honour to assume command of the ISS. I will do my best to acquit myself well, accomplish the utmost as a crew for all the International Partners, and fully live and share the experience on behalf of so many around our world.”
He noted that 2013 is the 50th year of Canada in space since the launch of the country’s first satellite Alouette, so his commanding of the ISS is “a first for our country, but is really just the culmination of a lot of other firsts”.
One of the many reasons Hadfield has such a following is his inspirational attitude, as summed up in this video he made on how to achieve your goals: