August 29 – Happy Birthday, Chris Hadfield!

Posted on August 29, 2016

He's one of the most famous astronauts, ever.

And it's not because he was the first to circle this or the first to step on that.

Instead, it's because he has reached out so well, so often, to all of us non-astronauts, helping to spark interest in some and answer questions for others, helping to excite and educate and even entertain!

Actually, Chris Hadfield was a first: He was the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space.

Hadfield flew in two space shuttle missions and served as commander of the International Space Station.

He was in space 165 days (altogether), including a mission that was almost five months long.

He was famous for being “savvy” about social media. He has more than 1,500,000 Twitter followers; he created one of the top Reddit AMA threads of all time; he has a popular Tumblr blog and loads of followers on Facebook and Google+; he created YouTube videos that have been viewed by tens of millions of people!

Not-so-social media is no stranger to Hadfield, either. His easy-to-read autobiography is called An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me about Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything. His interviews have been published in magazines – he's even made the cover! – and he's been interviewed on TV and radio as well.

Now retired, Hadfield had a 35-year career as a military pilot and an astronaut. Now he gets to do fun Earthly things like speak to audiences and throw out the ceremonial first pitch in a Major League Baseball game.

 Here are a few fun videos to get your Hadfield on:

  • Cool animated lyric video for “Feet Up” 
  • Is Somebody Singing?” – a music video with spacefaring Chris Hadfield and Earthbound Barenaked Ladies and an choir
  • This is the biggie: “Space Oddity,” made famous first by dearly departed musician David Bowie. Be sure to watch the coming-back-to-Earth final shot!
"Space Oddity" was really, truly recorded on the ISS,
and all the zero-gravity shots like the one below
really were 0-G. No special effects on THIS music video!

Also on this date:

Slovakia's National Uprising Day

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