Astronaut Chris Hadfield to be first Canadian commander of Space Station

LONGUEUIL, Quebec (AP) — Veteran astronaut Chris Hadfield will be the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station when he blasts off in December 2012.

Hadfield will be one of six crew members.

Hadfield told a news conference Thursday at the Canadian Space Agency he is honored to command the International Space Station.

Hadfield traveled to the International Space Station in April 2001 to help deliver and install a robotic arm used on the space shuttle and on the station. He also performed two space walks during the 11-day flight.

In May of this year, the 18-year space veteran commanded NEEMO 14, a two-week underwater mission for NASA off the coast of Florida.