Cdn spaceman takes off

A NASA astronaut with ties to Canada heads to the International Space Station today on a visit that will last nearly six months.

Andrew "Drew" Feustel, who has dual Canada-U.S. citizenship, is scheduled to blast off at 1:44 p.m. ET with fellow NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.

The trio will be launched atop a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan — eight months before Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques heads off in November for a six-month stay.

The Michigan-born Feustel met his future wife, Indira, a speech pathologist from eastern Ontario, at Indiana's Purdue University.

They married and came to Canada, and Queen's University says he completed a PhD in geological sciences at the university in Kingston, Ont., in the 1990s.

The Queen's Gazette says their two children Ari and Aden, were born in Kingston and that the family still has ties to the city.

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