To celebrate the first Canadian to command the International Space Station and to celebrate his successful efforts to get Canada and the world excited about space exploration again using social media, Chris Hadfield deserves a ticker tape parade.
There are two other reasons for doing this. First of all, ticker tape parades are awesome and why we don't have one every month is a mystery. Second, in light of the renewed enthusiasm for space exploration, Canadian citizens who care about space and the Canadian Space Agency should demand that the agency and the larger industry continue to receive funding and investment to maintain Canada's reputation as an aerospace leader.
The Canadian Space Agency's funding has been frozen for about a decade and recent federal budgets have even mandated cuts of about $30 million by 2014-15. The aerospace industry employs about 66,000 people in high-tech, well-paying jobs that are important not only to the country's technological advancement but also to the economy.
If we want to keep the jobs, the expertise, and all those nice warm feelings we get from space exploration, let's continue to invest in it — and the first step is a ticker tape parade for Commander Hadfield.