I wanted to talk to you about something awesome I stumbled across that I really feel everyone should know about. Well, something awesome that’s done by someone awesome.
So I’m not sure if people really know much about the International Space Station (ISS) or what it does. According to Wikipedia, the ISS is a satellite that was launched in 1998 to orbit Earth that can be inhabited by astronauts. It was formed by the merger of three planned satellites: Russia’s Mir-2, the proposed American Freedom, and the European Columbus. It also merged with the Japanese Kibō module as well as Canadian robotics. It is a joint program among five space agencies and has had astronauts from 15 different nations.
The current mission, Expedition 35, has crew members from Canada, the US, and Russia. Col. Chris Hadfield is the first Canadian commander of the ISS. He’s the one I think people really should look up.
He’s been very free with the public, sharing pictures that he takes on his Facebook page, tweeting about what he’s doing, and even doing a Reddit AMA from space (along with a pre-flight one). The pictures he shares on his Facebook page are incredible. You can see a sampling of them in the slideshow below.
He was born and raised in Milton, Ontario. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1978 and trained as a pilot. He graduated from Royal Military College with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, and eventually received a Masters of Science in aviation systems at the University of Tenessee in 1992. That same year, he was chosen from 5330 applicants to one of four new astronaut spots at the Canadian Space Agency and transferred to NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He’s done some pretty awesome sounding jobs at NASA since then, and has gone up to space several times. He’ll land back on Earth May 14.
But really, everyone should check out his updates and posts. They’re pretty awesome. You’ll get so entranced you won’t even notice you’ve looked through over 400 pictures!!
It’s weird. I don’t normally follow space news or look too hard into anytime another launch is happening. But these pictures, along with his updates, make you feel as though you’re experiencing space with him. His willingness to answer any and all questions – from space!! – really makes me excited to find out more.
And the best part? No matter what city, country, or continent he shares a picture of, he always just says “us,” not “Canadians,” not “Brits,” not “Polish,” not “Korean.” Just “us.” He’s made us feel as though the world is border-less and we’re all the same – which we are.
Check out his Facebook. You’ll be glad you did.
- Can You Cry in Space? ISS Commander Chris Hadfield Has the Answer (tor.com)
- ISS Commander Shows How He Brushes His Teeth In Space [Video] (latinospost.com)
- O Canada! Hadfield Becomes First Canadian Commander of ISS (universetoday.com)
- Fun Times in Space: Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s Wacky Photos (space.com)
- Another Incredible Timelapse from the ISS (universetoday.com)
- Canadian Students Hear from ISS Commander (astronaut.com)
- We’ve Taken More Than a Million Pictures of Earth From the Space Station (theatlantic.com)
- Chris Hadfield: Canadian Takes Charge Of ISS (news.sky.com)