You’ve probably seen the YouTube clips of the Canadian astronaut/space station commander singing David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” That’s Chris Hadfield, and he’s pretty great. After watching the Apollo moon landing at the age of nine, his ambitions of becoming an astronaut became all-consuming. There were no Canadian astronauts then and wouldn’t be for some time. As a farm kid, Hadfield spent his time learning mechanics on tractors and old cars and flying with his pilot father and brothers every chance he got. Hadfield became an experimental test pilot and mastered flying more than 70 types of aircraft. He was relentless in his preparations, which he detailed in his memoir, “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.”
His is a story of dreams come true. Less than 100 people have walked in space. Hadfield is one of them, was the first Canadian to boot, and he’s still, to this day, terrified of heights. Who hasn’t looked up at the stars and wanted to float up there? Hadfield will not only fill you in on what it takes to get there, he’ll tell you repeatedly that it’s a whole lot of fun.
Keena KimmelOwner of White Rabbit Books and Curiosities