Chris Hadfield – an astronaut in cyberspace

A couple of hours ago, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield handed over the keys to the International Space Station to Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov. For the past five months, commander Hadfield has not just pulled the ropes of a billion dollar science vessel, but also brought the beauty and mystery of Space to a new generation. While orbiting the Big Blue Marble at 400 kilometers, the 53-year-old, music-loving, Maple-Leafs-fan has taken an astronomical step into cyberspace.

Chris Hadfield

Sunrise in the Cupola. With no atmosphere to filter and diffuse the light, our star is incredibly harsh. 1:57 PM Thursday 14 March 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

In-between science experiments and spacewalks, Hadfield has used his Twitter feed, Facebook page and Nikon D3s camera to remind the millions of people populating the twitterverse and the blogosphere that we are all caretakers of Spaceship Earth. And good planets are hard to find.

From psychedelic cloud formations, to jet traffic over San Francisco, our space sailor’s mind-blowing photos and often-poetic captions have allowed me to re-live my childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. What a journey it has been! Here is a handful of my favorite photos. Which one do you like the most?

Chris Hadfield photo 1

Syria, from a different perspective. 10:35 PM Friday 3 May 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield photo 2

While the Newfoundland ice formed a heraldic dragon, these Pacific clouds look more like Woodstock, of Peanuts fame. 12:25 AM Friday 3 May 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield photo 3

This river’s about to take a short cut. 10:34 AM Friday 26 April 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield photo 4

Dry lake like a bunny, in the unmistakable Outback. 2:31 PM Thursday 18 April 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield photo 5

Tonight’s Finale: I have no idea what this Brazilian outcrop looks like on the ground, but from orbit, it’s a brain. 1:33 AM Friday 12 April 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield photo 6

Sometimes Mother Nature uses a protractor, like here in New Zealand’s South Island. 12:39 PM Thursday 11 April 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield photo 7

Morning jet traffic over San Francisco. 9:47 PM Saturday 6 April 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield photo 8

Geneva, Switzerland. Under that rock is the incredible CERN particle accelerator. Their AMS is mounted on Station. 12:05 AM Thursday 4 April 2013. Photo credit: Chris Hadfield

Like many of his 750,000 followers on Twitter, I wonder what Hadfield will do next, after packing up his camera gear and returning to planet Earth later tomorrow. Regardless of what happens, he will for a very long time be the coolest guy in outer space. I bet Neil would be proud. Thank you, Sir, for inviting us to your party. Live long and proser.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.