Exactly 25 years after Canada's first astronaut captured this country's imagination by blasting into space, the country celebrates another extra-terrestrial milestone this week with a unique spectacle planned by Canada's first space tourist.
Marc Garneau wound up on cereal boxes and had schools named for him after Oct. 5, 1984, when the young naval officer began an eight-day mission on the now-infamous Space Shuttle Challenger.
A quarter-century later, there have been no human visits to Mars or colonies on the moon. But Garneau says it's still been a pleasant surprise to see how far space travel has come...
"We've come a long way and I'm just very proud that I happened to be the very first to lead the charge," Garneau said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"I'm really, really proud that 25 years later, Guy Laliberte represents the ninth Canadian in space."
...but historian Chris Gainor complains that this country isn't accomplishing what it could.
"Canada has a bargain-basement space program," he said. "We've gotten good value for our money from the limited goals we've given for our space program."
The author of several books on Canada's role in space says the question is whether Canadians wanted the government to do more.