Royal Roads Military College ex-cadet Chris Hadfield has successfully blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a mission that is to see him become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.
Hadfield is travelling to the space station on board a Russian Soyuz capsule for a five-month visit to the giant orbiting space lab. He is sharing the trip to the space station with NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko.
Governor-General David Johnston called Hadfield's launch "a great day for Canada, a great day for the world of discovery and innovation."
He joined the families of Canadian Space Agency employees at its headquarters south of Montreal to watch the event on a giant TV screen.
"We're so proud that Chris Hadfield now is up in space - the first Canadian to be commanding the space station in March," he said.
"And now we simply pray for a continued safe mission and a safe return..."
Read the full story here.