PM congratulates Chris Hadfield on 'stellar' achievement. (Get it?)

Here’s what Prime Minister Stephen Harper had to say as Chris Hadfield takes command of the International Space Station today:

“Ever since this country was founded, Canadians have been pushing the boundaries of exploration and discovery, contributing in substantial ways to collective global knowledge.

“Today, on behalf of all my fellow citizens, I would like to congratulate our very own space pioneer, Chris Hadfield, who is continuing in that fine tradition of pushing the limits by being named the first Canadian to take command of the International Space Station, currently orbiting the planet.

“His pursuit of excellence in his field and his achievements in space are a tremendous source of national pride and can most aptly be described as stellar.

“Today we join the chorus of national and international recognition for this achievement – including best wishes from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – and we wish Commander Hadfield and his crew godspeed and safe return on their remarkable mission and adventure in space.”

And here’s a message from the Queen:

“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.”