Astronaut Chris Hadfield shows off Canada with tweets from space


Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who is currently on board the International Space Station, delivered a bilingual Happy New Year message from the station yesterday.

"It is a tremendous privilege to be one of the new guys on board the International Space Station," he said, in both English and French, while floating next to fellow Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn and Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford.

[ Related: Hadfield records first original song from space ]

"I want to wish everybody a very happy new year. 2013 really promises to be a ... productive one for all of us on the International Space Station." he added in English.

The International Space Station runs on Greenwich Mean Time (UTC), and according to Hadfield (via his twitter account @Cmdr_Hadfield), the crew celebrated while flying over the Indian Ocean with noisemakers and grape juice.

Hadfield, who has been quite active on Twitter since his arrival on the ISS, used some of his 'down-time' on Monday to send a little 'end of 2012' gift to everyone following his account, tweeting pictures of Prince Edward Island, Calgary, Cambridge, ON, the Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener-Waterloo (my hometown!), Lake Winnipeg, Quebec City, the Rocky Mountains, Sackville, NB and Tadoussac, QC.

[ More Geekquinox: Space travel may cause early onset of Alzheimer's ]

For anyone wondering how one goes about tweeting from space, with no land-lines or cellphone towers, the astronauts have been using the 'ultimate wireless connection' since a software upgrade in January 2010. The 'Crew Support LAN' uses the station's microwave communications links to the ground to allow the astronauts access to a ground computer via a laptop on the station, similar to anyone on Earth 'dialing-in' to their work computer from home.

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