Special message was from astronaut with family connections in Cornwall

Sultan Jessa
Special message was from astronaut with family connections in Cornwall
ISS Commander Andrew Feustel

OTTAWA, Ontario – Governor-General Julie Payette received a special message from the commander of the International Space Station (ISS).

The message came during celebrations to mark Canada’s birthday in sweltering heat in the nation’s capital.

It came from veteran astronaut Andrew Jay Feustel, commander of the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) – ISS during live celebrations in Ottawa.

Payette, also a former astronaut, and Feustel exchanged greetings via phone outside Parliament Hill.

The Governor-General noted Feustel’s children were born in Canada.

Feustel is married to Indira, a speech language pathologist whose father, Dr. Vijay Bhatnagar is a long time resident of Cornwall.

He became commander in early June.

A native of Lake Noon, Michigan, Feustel was selected as part of the astronaut class of 2000 and in 2009, flew on the space shuttle Atlantis for the final servicing mission of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

He made his first trip to the space station in 2011.

Feustel attended a number of universities in the United States and has a Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

He met his wife Indira in West Lafayette, Indiana, when they both attended Purdue University.

So far more than 200 astronauts have visited the space station.

From the space station, Feustel joined others in singing O’Canada.

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