Commander Chris Hadfield – the Canadian astronaut who shot to fame with his tweets from space – is to retire from the Canadian Space Agency.
Making unique use of social media to report on his work and to send amazing pictures of Earth from the perspective of space, 53-year-old Hadfield managed to capture and captivate the world’s attention, and also to reignite people’s interest in space exploration.
However, it was on his last “day” in space, when he sang a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, when the song went viral and he became something of a superstar of space exploration. Since returning to Earth, Hadfield has remained very much on top of his game, continuing to tweet and post about matters relating to the planet, and its “role” within the greater context of space.
Hadfield announced his retirement at a press conference outside Montreal yesterday after having received a visit from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and will return to live in Canada shortly. Speaking of his space venture, Hadfield said that “it has been an incredible adventure”, and commented on his ISS project, which saw him achieve international fame, as being “a kind of pinnacle of my entire career… since I was a little dreaming kid of nine years old thinking of flying into space.”
Indeed it is true that Hadfield’s ambition has seen him become the first at many endeavours, including being the first Canadian to spacewalk, and the first Canadian to visit the Russian Space Station MIR in 1995.
Of course, more recently, Hadfield has become both the first man to tweet from space – thereby proving that it can actually be done – and the first man to film a music video in space (albeit a relatively low budget one).
Now that he has become, essentially, a multi-record breaker in space exploration, Hadfield has certainly earned a break from his hard work, promising his wife that they would move back to Canada one day when his space work was complete.
However, as he has declared plans to continue giving presentations and promoting space exploration, it is apparent that this is not the last we will be hearing from Hadfield, and he will continue to be a prominent figure in the space industry.