Julie Payette will become the next governor general of Canada

Former astronaut Julie Payette:Canada's next governor general. REUTERS  Chris Wattie

Former astronaut Julie Payette:Canada's next governor general. REUTERS Chris Wattie

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, has announced that The Queen has appointed former astronaut, Julie Payette, as the country's new Governor General.

However he won't immediately assign her the task of reading a throne speech, as Trudeau says there is simply no need for one at this point.

Trudeau said this afternoon there is no need for a reset because the approach taken already is working.

As she accepted the position standing alongside prime minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday, she recounted how she looked down on Canada from a spaceship.

The governor general is Queen Elizabeth's representative in Canada and acts as head of state.

Payette first traveled to the ISS in 1999 aboard the USA space shuttle Discovery, then 10 years later aboard the Endeavour.

It would replace the current governor-general David Johnston from September 2017. She went on a second space flight in 2009.

The appointment of the multi-talented scientist - she speaks six languages, plays the piano and holds a commercial pilot's licence - has been widely welcomed in Canada. The governor general is also nominally Canada's commander-in-chief.

Bellegarde was among many though who said Payette's lengthy resume, which includes two trips into space, will serve her and Canada well.

Mr Johnston is expected to have a private audience with The Queen when he travels to the United Kingdom next week for Canada 150 celebrations.

During his tenure as Governor General, Johnston focused on education, philanthropy and innovation, and also making awards like the Order of Canada more accessible to Canadians.

"I am certain that she will fulfil this role with intelligence, grace and energy, and that she will bring qualities of curiosity, courage and compassion to her mandate", Johnston said in a statement from Beijing, where he is now on an official visit.

Payette said she was still thinking about how she'll handle the role. "You get to see a lot of wonderful details", she said.

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