Thursday, March 13, 2014

BOOK: An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield, 282 pages

I was one of the millions who started following Chris Hadfield last spring when he was the commander of the International Space Station. This wonderful memoir of being an astronaut gives quite the insight into the type of person who becomes an astronaut - disciplined, logical, smart, resourceful, and confident. The constant balance between teamwork and self-confidence was almost tiring for my lazy self. (Spoiler - I'm never becoming an astronaut.) But I do enjoy reading about the science, and space, and the process involved. He missed out on a lot of family life, and has an extremely supportive wife, but he does give his family a lot of credit and thanks.

Last fall I had the opportunity to hear David Saint-Jacques, another Canadian astronaut, speak about his life. His story is somewhat similar to Hadfield's, and just as awe-inspiring.

Wringing out a water on the ISS

I show this to my physics classes when we have a few minutes left in class. To quote one student - "I would never get tired of microgravity!"

Space Oddity - re-recorded on the ISS during Commander Hadfield's mission. Between the pictures Hadfield posted on Twitter with his amazing perspective of Earth, and his son Evan's coordinating of this video, Hadfield used social media in a way never seen before.

We are very proud in Canada of our astronaut!

Last spring, just around the time of this mission, our youngest daughter's grade four classes at school put on their spring show - a black light show. There was the requisite underwater scene and song, a Stompin' Tom tribute with the Good Old Hockey Game, and  an ISS tribute, singing the song from Music Monday, ISS (Is Someone Singing, with Ed Robertson of Bare Naked Ladies). The ISS skit got the biggest applause when all the flags and especially the Canadian flag was show. I just love this song, and listen to it all the time.

Back to the book. I liked it, and reading his story reminded me of all the fun I had following along with his mission last year. I can't imagine anyone who has enjoyed their space experience as much as Hadfield. Well, maybe they all have, but no one else shared to the extent that Hadfield did. And his enthusiasm comes through just as sincerely in his book.