Chris Hadfield is known for his rendition of A Space Oddity performed on the International Space Station. It is a beautiful, unique and poignant piece of poetry in motion.
“The purpose of the music video was to make the rare and beautiful experience of space flight more accessible.”
“Square astronaut, round hole” is Chris’s final assessment of his career. As a 9 year old Canadian boy he was inspired when he saw the grainy black and white television broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s “small step” on to the Moon. He decided then to become an astronaut. His plan was firmly placed in his mind and from that day he applied himself to that purpose.
And as we can all appreciate, this is no small task, especially for someone who is not an American. His tenacity, humility, and intelligence provided him with the skills needed to endure this difficult quest.
Not only did he need all of the complex technical knowledge and be able to apply those with precision, but he also needed to learn to speak Russian, survive in the wilderness, be an underwater reconnaissance specialist, fly and test jet planes, and be patient. What a guy! Most mere mortals would only be able to fit one or two of those things into a single lifetime. As well as all of this he finds time for a family, and to play guitar.
Chris Hadfield writes an interesting account of his career in An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. I loved this book. Chris shows his humility and generosity that serves him well as he establishes himself as part of the large NASA team.
Not only does this book provide a great description about what is required to become an astronaut; he also provides an excellent blueprint that could be applied to any vision or goal. And he writes this all with humour and humility.
“…everything counts: the small moments, the medium ones, the successes that make the papers, and also the ones that no one knows about but me.”
In his TED Talk he tells us how to face our fears while also sharing his absolute love of our planet. He has played his part of the larger quest to take “giant leaps” into our Universe, and he has communicated that experience to us on the ground through the poetry of description and the art of photography from the ISS, distributed through social media channels.
“The windows of a spaceship casually frame miracles.”
You can follow Commander Chris Hadfield on Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield