Chris Hadfield unveils new $5 polymer bill from space
Published Tuesday, April 30, 2013 1:57PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 30, 2013 6:54PM EDT
Astronaut Chris Hadfield gave Canadians their first look at the new $5 polymer bill on Tuesday while orbiting hundreds of kilometres above the Earth.
Speaking via a videoconference call with the Bank of Canada, Hadfield showed off how the new plastic note fared in a zero-gravity environment.The 53-year-old held the new bill up to a camera for Canadians to see before letting it slowly waltz in circles.The Bank of Canada also debuted the new $10 bill Tuesday morning, during an official unveiling event in Ottawa.
“I just want to tell you how proud I am to be able to see Canada’s achievements in space highlighted on our money,” said Hadfield, who has been making a big splash on the Internet since the launch of his space missionaboard the ISS.
The bills -- the latest in the new line of upgraded bank notes -- pay tribute to Canada’s achievements. While the $10 bill depicts a train, the new $5 bill features images of the Canadarm and “Dextre,” the robotic space handyman named for its dexterous nature.
“These new polymer notes show us the type of things we can accomplish when we really put our minds to it,” Hadfield said.
The video dispatch was the latest update from Canada’s man among the stars, detailing life aboard the International Space Station. In past broadcasts, Hadfield demonstrated making a peanut butter and honey sandwich using a tortilla shell and how to clean up a water spill.
Back on Earth, Hadfield was joined by Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
Tuesday’s unveiling completes the overhaul of Canada’s currency that started in 2011 with the $100 bill. The new bank notes feature improved security elements intended to make it difficult to counterfeit the bills.
“As a result in 2012, counterfeiting rates had dropped 92 per cent from their peak in 2004. These new bank notes offer additional protection and will contribute further to lowering the counterfeiting rate,” Carney told reporters.
Currently, Carney said more than half a billion polymer bank notes are in circulation. The new bills are expected to be more durable and have a life expectancy two-and-half times longer than paper based notes.
Carney said the $5 and $10 denomination bills are expected to enter into circulation by November.