Chris Hadfield launched to the International Space Station on December 19, 2012. In March of this year he became the first Canadian commander of the ISS. While serving on the ISS, Hadfield has recorded music, posted pictures and videos, and engaged the world through social media in an unprecedented way. He returns to Earth tonight, and you can watch the live feed right here.
Coverage of the return mission will begin at 9:30 PM EDT and can be viewed below, but until then — let’s take some time to talk about what Chris Hadfield has accomplished.
We covered Hadfield’s mission at every opportunity we had on this site, because we’ve also been inspired by it. We’re geeks. We love space, and even we found ourselves with a new level of excitement about what humans can accomplish because of Hadfield. He made space cool again.
With tools like Twitter and YouTube, he brought us aboard the International Space Station with him. He showed us what a life in space is really like, and by doing so gave us all a look into a future of humans in space — from how an astronaut brushes their teeth:
To how a person cries in microgravity:
The world was engaged with Hadfield and his crew in a way not seen since the Apollo missions. He wrote and performed songs in space, and we listened. In one day his version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” has gotten over 1.5 million views on YouTube. I haven’t watched it yet, because I don’t want to cry at work:
He even performed via satellite with hundreds of thousands of children here on Earth:
It might be an overstatement to say that Hadfield has inspired a generation to focus on space and its possibilities, but I don’t think it is. He’s generated millions of views on YouTube, and has over 830,000 followers on Twitter. That’s a measurable impact on the world, and how it feels about space.
For Hadfield, today marks his return home, but for his fans it marks the end of something amazing. Hadfield could be just as active in getting people interested in space after he returns back to Earth, but there’s something special about that level of engagement with another human as they’re flying miles above us that’s truly wonderful, and sort of awe inspiring.
We hope Hadfield stays active on social media when he’s back on Earth, and keeps getting people interested in what’s possible beyond our own planet. There’s so much potential in space, and Hadfield is reminding people of that.
Chris Hadfield is Space Batman, and we really hope that as he leaves the space station someone else takes up that mantle, because we’d really like to keep watching YouTube videos shot in space.
We wish Chris Hadfield and the other astronauts returning to Earth with him tonight a safe journey home.
- See Chris Hadfield reflect on his time in space, then probably tear up a little
- Hadfield teaches you why it’s hard to smell in space in this video
- He also comes real close to demonstrating how to throw up in space