'You have the bridge, Mr De Winne'
It's the hot topic of the moment and so it's natural that any conversation is going to start with the new UK Space Agency (UKSA).
Belgian Frank De Winne, the first European to command the International Space Station, is inspecting the new agency's logo...and the name:
"So, how do you say it? 'Yuke-sar'?"
I don't think anyone is quite sure. Everyone is still just enjoying the moment.
Frank has an interesting British connection. He spent a year at MoD Boscombe Down, in Wiltshire, in the early '90s. It was at the former RAF station there that he passed the exams needed to become a test pilot.
His fellow pupil on the course was Thomas Reiter, who would eventually become the first European astronaut to be sent on a long-duration tour to the ISS.
Indeed, it was while at Boscombe Down that Reiter found out that he'd been accepted into the European Space Agency's Astronaut Corps.
Frank, on the other hand, was told he'd have to wait. He went into a reserve pool and was finally called up in 1998.
I spoke with him this week in Paris where he was giving a lecture about his experience as ISS commander to the International Astronautical Federation Space Update event.
He returned to Earth in December and so is still involved in what they call "post-flight activities". He's continuing with some medical and science experiments connected with his OasISS mission, and - of course - he's giving plenty of talks.
We had a long chat about his historic adventure, which marked not just his elevation to the job of the "world's top astronaut" but also saw the orbiting platform move to a six-person crew.
When his Expedition's Soyuz capsule arrived at the ISS in May, it doubled the routine crew complement, and it will now largely stay at six.
The ISS is entering its "full utilisation" phase. For much of the past decade, astronauts have been doing only about 20 hours a week of science on the station. This is now fast approaching 70 hours a week.
I could happily talk to astronauts all day long but they've got better things to do, so you get to fire only a few key questions. But I had to ask Frank first about that Star Trek picture in which everyone under his command dressed in character from the famous TV series:
"Every crew now makes a poster, which is not an official agency poster, but a crew poster, [of] some team - and these are usually teams from movies that are chosen. As the first European space station commander, we made the link - and it was actually my wife Lena who did this - to Star Trek and the Next Generation where Jean-Luc Picard is also from Europe, and he is also the first European commander of the Enterprise."
When asked to pick some key events during his stay, Frank mentions the first appearance at the station of the Japanese HTV cargo ship, and the arrival in August of fellow European Christer Fuglesang.
The HTV episode was as important one because it was a first demonstration of a procedure that will soon become a regular occurrence - the idea of grabbing visiting vehicles with a robotic arm as they free-float next to the platform, and then pulling them into a berthing point.
The thing I love about astronauts is the way they can sometimes make going into space sound like a mundane nine-to-five office job:
"Life is very similar to here on Earth, surprisingly. You get up, you have your breakfast morning routine. And then we have a daily planning conference with the ground in which we go through the plans of the day, and then we start working. Morning work. We have a break of about one hour for our midday meal. Afternoon work. And then in the evening we have another planning conference with the ground, and then it's winding down, having dinner, do some email, look through some movies, look through the window of course to Earth, and then finally go to bed."
Not many of us get to "look through the window to Earth" after the commute home.
Frank is now playing a key role in developing Europe's future role in human space exploration. You may recall there was a conference last October at Stirin Castle just outside Prague in the Czech Republic.
It saw ministers from Esa and EU member-states come together with industrialists and academics to discuss possible directions for the bloc.
The EU has traditionally kept its space endeavours restricted to applications and services - its sat-nav project, Galileo; and the Earth-monitoring programme GMES.
But the EU could now decide to invest in human spaceflight. As we know, the costs are large and if humans really do want to push out beyond low-Earth orbit, back to the Moon and on to Mars, it will almost certainly involve global co-operation.
In other words, some of the questions about Europe's involvement in that endeavour necessarily become political, not just technical.
Frank is chairing the technical committee of the second EU-ESA Space Exploration Conference which will take place in Brussels in the autumn:
"If you look around the world, you have some bigger nations that are engaged in exploration - China, the US, Russia. All of those states, all of those societies, have their internal values. Europe also has its values. If we want to make sure that in a global endeavour the European values are represented, we need to participate."
Such tasks will keep Frank busy. He's keen to go back into orbit, but doubts he'll get another opportunity. In any case, he feels the baton should probably now be passed to Esa's rookie astronauts who were selected just prior to his launch in May last year.
He'll be a robotics instructor to them:
"The first next opportunity to fly to the International Space Station for the slot that is still open, that is not assigned, is 2013. So if you ask me honestly I think the new astronauts should get their chance and a new generation should start flying. I should more concentrate on doing the desk job and supporting them."
As the European captain of the Enterprise might have said: "Make it so!"