"That's a great insurance policy."
There's a Canadian astronaut going to the Moon with three Americans from NASA next year — and according to him, that's by design.
In a "Late Show" interview with Stephen Colbert, Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen — along with his American counterparts Christina Koch, Victor Glover, and Reid Wiseman — had a quip straight out of "South Park" when asked why, exactly, he'd been selected for the mission.
"Elephant in the room: you're a Canadian," Colbert joked to raucous applause from his audience, "and that's not why we made you sit at the end [of the couch]."
"How did this happen for you?" the host continued. "How did you end up at NASA?"
In pure Canadian nice fashion, Hansen noted that there are "probably a couple of reasons, you can pick whichever one you like" before joking that "if something goes wrong on this mission, then NASA can blame Canada."
Now laughing himself, Colbert shot back that "well, Canada will just say 'sorry,'" using the long "o" pronunciation that's become something of a calling card for the Great White North.
"So we're all covered," Hansen continued. "That's a great insurance policy."
Jokes aside, the soon-to-be-spacewalker said that he thinks the "real reason" NASA chose to work with the Canadian Space Agency is good old-fashioned "American leadership."
"It's not lost on anyone in Canada that if the United States wanted to go to the Moon again, they don't need Canada to do it," he continued. "It was a deliberate decision because they're thinking big, they want to curate a global partnership, and I think that's tremendous leadership on the part of America."
"Canada really appreciates it," Hansen added. "It lifts us up and allows us to bring our genius — and we have lots of genius in Canada to bring to the collaboration."
It's unclear whether Hansen knew he was referencing a more-than-20-year-old South Park bit, but he nonetheless has a good sense of humor — which seems like a necessary tool when flying to the Moon.
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