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Tag Archive: @Cmdr_Hadfield


Planet Earth and Hadfield

Tuesday night Commander Chris Hadfield met with a small group of Kansas City patrons at a reception in the Linda Hall Library of science and technology, in advance of a lecture on the release of his new book You Are Here to 800 attendees at the Unity Temple on the Plaza.  Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who flew twice on the space shuttle and commanded the International Space Station last year, fielded a barrage of questions on everything from his tight fit in a Russian Soyuz space capsule to his favorite moments in outer space to his famous viral rock video.

Just feet from a 1543 first edition of Copernicus’s On the Heavenly Spheres in which Copernicus first introduced humans to an image of the Sun at the center of the universe, and a 1610 hand-notated first edition of Galileo’s treatise Starry Messenger in which Galileo first documented his discoveries via telescope, Hadfield was a living representation of mankind’s greatest achievements so far.  Confident and razor sharp, Hadfield conveyed those traits you’d expect from a test pilot and astronaut required to know how to repair every part of his spacecraft if necessary and conduct experiments in outer space as planet Earth soars in front of him at 1,000 miles per hour.

Hadfield signing

Commander Hadfield signed copies of his new book You Are Here, and earlier work An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

Hadfield, known for his transmission of images via Twitter during his five-month stint on the International Space Station (ISS), said he personally follows very few people on the Internet.  “I follow a few friends I know who have some humorous things to say,” he said.  On the space station Hadfield produced an unprecedented rock video sung and performed on guitar by the commander–a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” which we reported on here at borg.com back in 2013 (and referred to Hadfield as the coolest man on, or off, Earth).  He said his son, who produced the video from back home on Earth, “really wrote the book” on using social media to convey something as enormous as sharing what Hadfield was doing in outer space, including the millions re-introduced to the space program who watched his video on YouTube.  “We have something like 20 million hits,” he said proudly (actually now more than 23 million).

Librarian for history of science Bruce Bradley

Linda Hall Library history of science librarian Bruce Bradley displays rare original texts from Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton.

Before the private reception, Linda Hall Library history of science librarian Bruce Bradley showed off the facilities collection of original historic astronomy texts, and Hadfield said he was impressed by what he had seen.  The Library previously hosted Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, seen here.

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Major Hadfield as Major Tom

Twitter just won’t be the same anymore.

International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield, along with flight engineers American Tom Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko, returned safely to Earth aboard a Soyuz space capsule Monday night at 9:31 Central Time, landing by parachute in Kazakhstan.

We at borg.com have been watching Canadian astronaut Hadfield and his stunning photography on his Twitter feed since we became addicted to Twitter.  In fact I got addicted to Twitter almost entirely because of Hadfield’s tweets and have been raving about his photos and commentary for months.  Probably no person in Earth’s history has shared such a perspective and love for Planet Earth as Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.  Through his stunning photography of the details of Earth from so far away, like images of Stonehenge from outer space, hundreds of cities alight at night, and hidden paradises and geological formations among unreal blue seas, Hadfield has shared his rare world view with thousands of Twitter followers.

Ground control to Cmdr Hadfield

Hadfield has been orbiting Earth for five months.  He and his fellow astronauts undocked from the space station at 6:08 p.m. Central Time for his three-hour ride home.  It was Hadfield’s first trip home in a Russian Soyuz capsule–he had traveled in space shuttles in past missions in 1995 and 2001.

As a farewell to the space station, Hadfield, who sports a Major Dad moustache, released a video of a slightly modified version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, the “ground control to Major Tom” song, this time referencing his Soyuz ride home among other personal references.  It is the first music video made in space, including Hadfield’s own vocals and guitar, put together by Hadfield and the crew and musicians back here on Earth, over the past several months.

Planet Earth and Hadfield

Hadfield has been a huge presence on Twitter, with more than 850,000 followers as of Monday night.  Hopefully Hadfield will continue posting photos taken aboard the space station, and sharing his great insights about Earth from above.  And I can’t wait to see him host Saturday Night Live (rumor intentionally started here in the hopes it comes true).

Moonrise by Cmdr Chris Hadfield

Enjoy this superb music video, where you can see someone clearly fulfilling a dream that began 44 years ago when Bowie first released the song and when Neil Armstrong first walked on the surface of the Moon.

The best rock video ever?  The best YouTube upload ever?  The coolest thing ever done in outer space ever?  Yes, yes, and yes.  And someone should point out this video to J.J. Abrams on how to effectively use lens flares.  Right on!

And frankly, Hadfield’s heartfelt rendition of the classic rock tune leaves Bowie’s original in the dust.  You might just tear up a bit when you think how awesome it is Hadfield did something we all wish we could do–as Bowie’s lyrics take on new meaning–and how Hadfield has shared his experience with everyone in such a cool way.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com