Commander Hadfield

By Kieran Kithulegoda

Colonel Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space and live aboard the International space station, was born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. He grew up on a farm in Milton, Ontario where he dreamed of one day becoming an astronaut.

At the time, Canada had no astronaut program and nor would it for the foreseeable future, but he stuck to his goal. From a young age, Chris was a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets where he earned a glider pilot scholarship at age 15. He later went on to join the Canadian Armed Forces and studied at the Royal Military College, earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. While in the military, he learned to fly various types of aircraft and became an experimental test pilot, flying over 70 types of aircraft. In 1995, Chris flew to space for the first-time aboard STS-74.

Since then, he has flown to space several more times and won many awards including the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

In addition to being a former astronaut, Chris is also the author of the New York Times bestselling books An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, You Are Here- Around the World in 92 Minutes as well as the children’s book The Darkest Dark.

He is an engaging speaker and a musician, releasing his album, Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can, in 2015. He is also the creator of the on-stage celebration Generator, which combines science, comedy, and music for sold-out audiences.


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