Canadian claims

This proud Canuck asks for a little more fact checking, please. Commander Chris Hadfield is not Canada’s first professional astronaut (your report, 21 May).

Canada has had a fairly lengthy history in the space programme. The first Canadian in space was Captain Marc Garneau in 1984. Since then, membership in the Canadian Astronaut Corps, a unit of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has continued to grow.

Other Canadian astronauts include Roberta Bondar (the first neurologist in space), Steve Mac­Lean, Michael McKay, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason, Dave Williams and Julie Payette (current chief astronaut for the CSA).

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Other news sources have claimed Hadfield to be the first Canadian professional astronaut to live aboard the International Space Station (ISS), but I’m afraid that’s also incorrect. Robert Thirsk spent six months on the ISS in the spring of 2009.

Hadfield is, however, the first Canadian commander of the ISS. And not too shabby at the fine arts of tweeting and rocking on the guitar.

Katie Munnik

Spottiswoode Road