Canadian Veteran Astronaut Chris Hadfield Slotted as Expedition 35 Commander

©NASA

Chris Hadfield Spacewalk on STS-100

Veteran astronaut Chris Hadfield has been apparently slotted in as the International Space Station Expedition 35 Commander according to sources. This is something of a surprise as Canada was not expected to have another long duration stay until 2015. Hadfield becomes the first Canadian to be selected as an Expedition Commander.

Hadfield has just completed a two week rotation as leader of NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 14th undersea analog mission. A rotation on Neemo is sometimes considered as a precursor to a long duration flight.

Hadfield would go up on Soyuz rocket in November 2012 as a member of Expedition 34 and then transition to Commander of Expedition 35 during his six month stay aboard the International Space Station.

When contacted, Jean-Pierre Arseneault, Manager of Corporate Communication at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) said the CSA would be happy if Chris Hadfield was selected but could not confirm that Hadfield had been selected. The CSA does not have a formal agreement in place yet for future expeditions.