An interview with Chris Hadfield on why he became an astronaut, why he used social media in space, what it’s like being in space, what the most common astronaut myth is and his best advice.
Welcome to the 23rd episode of 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel. As your host, my goal is to curate the best advice from the world’s smartest and most interesting people by asking them just 5 questions.
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This episodes guest:
My guest today is the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space, Chris Hadfield. Born in Sarnia, Ontario, Hadfield was raised on a corn farm and became interested in flying at a young age and in being an astronaut at age nine when he saw the Apollo 11 Moon landing on television. He attended White Oaks Secondary School in Ontario until his senior year and then graduated as an Ontario Scholar from Milton District High School in 1977. After graduating from high school in 1978, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces and spent two years at Royal Roads Military College followed by two years at the Royal Military College. In 1983, he took honors as the top graduate from Basic Jet Training at CFB Moose Jaw and then went on to train as a tactical fighter pilot with 410 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron. After completing his fighter training, Hadfield flew CF-18 Hornets with 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron, flying intercept missions for NORAD. In the late 1980s, Hadfield attended the US Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base and served as an exchange officer with the US Navy at Strike Test Directorate. In May 1992, Hadfield graduated with a master’s degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee Space Institute. In total, Hadfield has flown over 70 different types of aircraft. Hadfield was selected to become one of four new Canadian astronauts from a field of 5,330 applicants in June 1992. Hadfield is a civilian CSA astronaut, having retired as a colonel from the Canadian Armed Forces in 2003 after 25 years of military service. He was Chief of Robotics for the NASA Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas from 2003–2006 and was Chief of International Space Station Operations from 2006–2008. NASA announced in 2010 that Hadfield would become the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, leading Expedition 35 after its launch on December 19, 2012. In June 2013, he retired and wrote his autobiography entitled “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”.
The 5 questions questions I ask in this episode:
- Why did you become an astronaut in the first place, and what did you originally want to accomplish by doing that?
- You’re known for your use of Twitter and Facebook in space. What made you decide to use these tools, and how did it affect your life and the people around you?
- What is it like being in space?
- What is one thing that people don’t know about you and astronauts in general that would surprise them?
- What are your top three tips for anyone who wants to achieve extraordinary goals like you?
Follow Chris’s journey:
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