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Chris Hadfield            

First Canadian to Walk in Space; Retired Astronaut & Former Commander of the International Space Station

Chris Hadfield is a Canadian retired astronaut, engineer, and former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot. The first Canadian to walk in space, Hadfield has flown two Space Shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield, who was raised on a farm in southern Ontario, was inspired as a child when he watched the Apollo 11 Moon landing on TV. He attended high school in Oakville and Milton and earned his glider pilot license as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces and earned an engineering degree at Royal Military College. While in the military he learned to fly various types of aircraft and eventually became a test pilot and flew several experimental planes. As part of an exchange program with the United States Navy and United States Air Force, he obtained a master's degree in aviation systems at the University of Tennessee Space Institute.

In 1992, he was accepted into the Canadian astronaut program by the Canadian Space Agency. He first flew in space aboard STS-74 in November 1995 as a mission specialist. During the mission, he visited the Russian space station Mir. In April 2001 he flew again on STS-100 and visited the International Space Station (ISS), where he walked in space and helped to install the Canadarm2. In December 2012 he flew for a third time aboard Soyuz TMA-07M and joined Expedition 34 on the ISS. He was a member of this expedition until March 2013 when he became the commander of the ISS as part of Expedition 35. He was responsible for a crew of five astronauts and helped to run dozens of scientific experiments dealing with the impact of low gravity on human biology. During the mission, he also gained popularity by chronicling life aboard the space station and taking pictures of the Earth and posting them on various social media platforms to a large following of people around the world. He was a guest on television news and talk shows and gained popularity by playing the International Space Station's guitar in space. His mission ended in May 2013 when he returned to Earth. Shortly after returning, he announced his retirement, capping a 35-year career as a military pilot and an astronaut.

Hadfield’s many awards include receiving the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. He is also an author of books including the internationally bestselling "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth" and "You Are Here." He has been commemorated on Canadian postage stamps, Royal Canadian Mint coins, and on Canada’s five-dollar bill (along with fellow astronauts Steve MacLean and Dave Williams).

Speech Topics

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth (presentation around his book titled the same)

Leadership: From the Calm Into the Storm

Aim to Be a Zero

Managing Complexity and Change


Chris Hadfield On Going Viral In Space
Chris Hadfield became a star as commander of the International Space Station, reaching out via social media to offer the public entertaining glimpses into life in orbit.
Chris Hadfield's next mission: Intensive rehab - Health - CBC News
Chris Hadfield is back safely on Earth after five months on the International Space Station, but it will take several months for the Canadian astronaut's body to  ...
Astronaut Chris Hadfield adjusts to 'earthling' life - Technology ...
Canada's space ambassador, Chris Hadfield, is still readapting to life on this planet after spending 146 days in zero gravity as commander of the International  ...
Astronaut Chris Hadfield savours fresh air of Earth - Technology ...
In his first news conference on Earth after five months in space, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield described the first smells of 'home,' what it feels like to ...
Astronaut Chris Hadfield retires from Canadian Space Agency ...
Canadian Chris Hadfield, who dazzled Earth-bound star-gazers with breathtaking pictures, entertaining videos and a constant stream of poetic tweets during his ...

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