By Nathaniel Crossley
Last week, Retired Canadian Astronaut and ISS Captain Chris Hadfield came to Fort McMurray to speak for the Northern Insights Speaker Series. He spoke about his experiences in space, controlling the ISS, in a Soyuz and repairing the ISS. Commander Chris Hadfield has been around the Earth 2,957 times and has been in space 3 times for the duration of 6 months in his 21-year career as an astronaut.
Hadfield first decided he was going to be an astronaut when he was only 9 because of the first moon landing. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces and earned an engineering degree at the Royal Military College. While in the military he learned to fly various types of aircraft and eventually became a test pilot and flew several experimental planes. As part of an exchange program with the United States Navy and United States Air Force, he obtained a master’s degree in aviation systems at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.
“It takes time to train and prepare for living in space and truly changes who you are and your view of the world and it gifts some people with more patience in life” said Hadfield.
As for humanitarian work, Hadfield and a member from the band “The Bare Naked Ladies” wrote a song for kids all across Canada to practice and sing on Singing Day. He practiced and practiced then one day in May, he grabbed his guitar and sang along with over 700,000 kids all across Canada.
“I think it’s logical that commercial space tourism will start because it’s the natural flow of things. Anyone can invent rockets and I am for the brilliant people in the world who have the power to create anything” said Hadfield.
He plans on continuing his career as a university professor and to publish more books. He occasionally narrates for CBC, consults with airplane businesses, and wants to go back to school to learn more things and add to his knowledge while still doing occasional public speaking.