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The 13 Coolest Things Commander Chris Hadfield Has Done In Space...So Far

chris hadfield mission patchCommander Chris Hadfield is pretty much the coolest person in the world right now. And he’s not even on Earth.

Commander Hadfield arrived at the International Space Station in December for a 5 month tour of duty that will see him become the 1st Canadian Commander of the ISS in March. While he waits to take over command, he has been capturing the imagination of the world every day.

His official mission objective is to carry out scientific experiments, operate the Canadarm2, and oversee operations. That’s the official mission objective; unofficially, he has been Commander of Cool.

Space is one of those magical places that just captures the imagination of children. The closest I have ever been was driving a moon buggy in Florida in 1975, and then meeting Buzz Aldrin in 2003. Maybe it’s the lack of gravity that lets you break all the rules. Maybe it’s the impossibility of boarding a ship and flying to the moon that captures the childhood image that anything is truly possible. Whatever it is, space and space exploration is property of children.

If you’ve got kids who are space fans, following Commander Hadfield on twitter (@Cmdr_Hadfield) is a daily lesson in awesome. From fantastic photos of Earth, to twitter conversations with James T. Kirk, to concerts with the Barenaked Ladies, here’s a list of 13 the coolest thing Chris Hadfield has done in space…so far.


  • Twitter Chat With James T Kirk, Mr Spock, Sulu, Buzz Aldrin, and Wesley Crusher – FROM SPACE 1 of 13
    Twitter Chat With James T Kirk, Mr Spock, Sulu, Buzz Aldrin, and Wesley Crusher - FROM SPACE
    This is the moment it all started. Hadfield's photography had been capturing an audience, but nothing compared to the moment that William Shatner tweeted Hadfield, and the Commander responded to James T. Kirk. Moments later Leonard Nimoy, George Takei, Buzz Aldrin, and Wil Wheaton all got in on the conversation, and the internet almost died of awesomeness.
    Image via @Cmdr_Hadfield
  • Dropped The Puck At A Hockey Game – FROM SPACE 2 of 13
    Dropped The Puck At A Hockey Game - FROM SPACE
    Hadfield proudly declared he was the first member of Leafs Nation to go to outer space, and he even brought along a Toronto Maple Leafs banner with him to the ISS. After the start of the NHL season was delayed due to a lockout, Hadfield found himself in space in time for the Toronto home opener. The Leafs had him "drop the puck" from space, in a fun video that led to a relay to get the game started.

    Image via YouTube
  • Performed with Barenaked Ladies – FROM SPACE 3 of 13
    Performed with Barenaked Ladies - FROM SPACE
    Ed Robertson and Barenaked Ladies, along with a school choir, performed a song that Chris and Ed co-wrote. Chris played his part from the cupola of the ISS. The song brilliantly expresses the human side of space travel. Astronauts seem to always come home and talk about how perspective changes when you see the world's problems from 350km in the sky. "If you could see our nation from the International Space Station, you'd know why I want to get back soon," goes the chorus. The song is a little hokey, sure, but it was recorded FROM SPACE. And featuring the singer responsible for The Big Bang Theory theme song makes it especially geekeriffic.

    Image via CBC Music. Used with permission.
  • How Do You Cut Your Nails In Space? 4 of 13
    How Do You Cut Your Nails In Space?
    Hadfield has done some fun videos while in space that detail what day-to-day life is really like. He loves to play guitar while staring at the earth, and it's hard to do with unruly nails. So he clips them. But how do you do that in zero g? Watch the video to see Hadfield's super kid-friendly personality explain how he does it.
    Image via YouTube
  • Talking To William Shatner 5 of 13
    Talking To William Shatner
    After the Twitter chat between Hadfield and Kirk, a bona fide conversation was arranged between William Shatner and Commander Hadfield. The two talked about the human element of space travel and compared notes on what stage fright is like in a theater and outer space.

    Image via YouTube
  • How Do You Wash Your Hands In Space? 6 of 13
    How Do You Wash Your Hands In Space?
    Hadfield has done countless chats with kids from around the world. Kids will ask the darndest things, like, "How do you wash in zero gravity?" Here's Chris's demonstration.
    Image via YouTube
  • First Google+ Hangout From Space 7 of 13
    First Google+ Hangout From Space
    Another first will happen on February 22, when Hadfield will host an open Google+ Hangout from space, the first ever. You can register now to join in.
    Image via Google+
  • Sunrise 8 of 13
    Sunrise
    At another student chat, a girl asked Hadfield what the coolest thing he's seen from space is. After a long pause, he said "sunrise." Chris gets to see sunrise and sunset 16 times a day as he orbits the earth, and he offered up this beautiful example of the spectrum of colors it provides.
    Image via @Cmdr_Hadfield
  • The Australian Outback 9 of 13
    The Australian Outback
    Hadfield's photography has often featured the Australian Outback. The colors and topography are mesmerizing. Here's one he compared to a Jackson Pollock painting.
    Image via @Cmdr_Hadfield
  • Earth’s Skin Problem 10 of 13
    Earth's Skin Problem
    Hadfield has a great sense of humor, noting here that even Earth has skin problems.
    Image via @Cmdr_Hadfield
  • Super Bowl XLVII 11 of 13
    Super Bowl XLVII
    You know how they normally have a blimp at the Super Bowl? Hadfield served up this picture from 350km above the earth on game day.
    Image via @Cmdr_Hadfield
  • Taranaki 12 of 13
    Taranaki
    Google Earth and Google Maps can show you different parts of the planet from space, but there's just something different and truly amazing when you see it from a human point of view. Like this picture of the Taranaki volcano in New Zealand.
    Image via @Cmdr_Hadfield
  • Guitar Pick Souvenir 13 of 13
    Guitar Pick Souvenir
    On Survivor, contestants used to bring one luxury item. Hadfield brought a series of souvenirs to the ISS with him, even a guitar pick with the same design as his mission patch.
    Image via Canadian Space Agency

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