My friend Wilma lives in Canada. I live on the Space Coast of Florida. NASA interests me; space interests me. Little did I realize Wilma’s Canadian astronaut would become a Twittersphere sensation from the International Space Station (I.S.S.), but he has. And he even used to work with NASA.
Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station in March 2013. This is his third space mission and communications, photography, and social media technology are all part of this mission. According to Todd Halvorson of Florida Today, Chris is a “social media superstar with a half-million people following his voyage.” The newspaper calls him a renaissance man who is “raising space exploration to an art form.”
So, who is Chris Hadfield? He was a military pilot, but has retired from the Canadian Air Force as a Colonel. He is a mechanical engineer. Chris also was an aquanaut (notice that says aqua and not astro) in 2010 when he commanded the NEEMO 14 mission and he worked 14 days in the Aquarius underwater lab. Hadfield was NASA’s Johnson Space Center Chief of Robotics from 2003-2006, after which he served two years as the Chief of International Space Station Operations. Chris is an astronaut for the whole world to watch.
Chris Hadfield is a musical astronaut. He writes music and lyrics and poetry and sings and plays his guitar from the International Space Station. The first song Commander Hadfield did from space was Jewel in the Night . He is writing enough songs while there to hopefully create a CD. Oh, as a side note, guitar picks do float freely on the space station.
An extremely well done video of his music was broadcast from the cupola observatory on the station with earthbound Canadian singer Ed Robertson, Barenaked Ladies, and Wexford Gleeks. They sing of the beauty of space in the song named I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing). As amazing as this performance is, it is not the first one broadcast from the Space Station. NASA’s Cady Coleman played “Bourree” via a satellite connection with Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. Coleman played his flute to celebrate 50 years since Yuri Gagarin made man’s first space flight in 1961. I think it is thrilling for us of planet Earth to be able to see and listen to music emanating from the space station.
Chris’ son Evan Hadfield is instrumental in the success of Chris Hadfield’s social media. Chris married his high school sweetheart in his homeland of Ontario and they have a son Evan, who does not work for the Canadian space program. Evan does work long daily hours seven days a week to help ensure the world gets to embrace space through his father’s eyes and mind through a wide range of social media broadcasts. You can find Chris on Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield . Besides Twitter, Chris can be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and my granddaughter’s favorite Tumblr. There is a Soundcloud for audio and YouTube for video. On Soundcloud you can listen to the space station noises such as fans and machines. His communications are engaging for all.
Photography of Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station: Chris may come across as a down to earth guy, but he is very savvy in the world of space, science, and engineering. His photography is not too shabby either. It is spellbinding. When Margaret Thatcher died, Chris honored Ms. Thatcher’s passing by transmitting stunning photography of the United England from space.
O, Canada! Thanks for Commander Chris Hadfield, the world’s superstar of social media from the International Space Station.