Canada’s Next Governor General Former Astronaut

July 15, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday (July 13) named Julie Payette, the first Canadian to board the International Space Station and Canada’s former chief astronaut, as Canada’s next governor general.


Being governor general is largely ceremonial role representing Queen Elizabeth.

Trudeau said Payette’s pioneering work in space makes her “unquestionably qualified” for the office. “Ms. Payette’s life has been one dedicated to discovery, to dreaming big and to always staying focused on the things that matter most.”

Payette said the appointment was a second chance to serve Canada, “Seen from outerspace, Canada is immense, made up of mountains, lakes, forests of breathtaking beauty. The fact remains that we see no borders from space.”

Payette, 53, served in space missions in 1999 and 2009 and worked with both the U.S. and Russian space agencies.