I Want to Be an Astronaut When I Grow Up

As if space and astronauts weren’t cool enough already, Commander Chris Hadfield has gone and made them infinitely cooler.

Since December 2012, Commander Hadfield has broadened our knowledge of life in space far beyond what we’ve learned from watching Apollo 13 and eating astronaut “ice cream.” The tech savvy Canadian astronaut has spent the last five months not only doing – er – space things at the International Space Station, but on his (gravity) free time has become a bona fide star of social media.

On twitter he’s exchanged tweets with William Shatner, George Takei and other Star Trek actors (among others). He has a popular Tumblr blog filled with amazing photos he’s taken from space (presumably to make us all feel silly about our Tumblr blogs with not-so-amazing cat gifs). On Reddit, he hosted one of the top AMA (ask me anything) threads of all time. But perhaps the place he’s gained the most notoriety is YouTube.

Via the Canadian Space Agency channel, he’s posted dozens of videos to answer pressing questions from those of us grounded on Earth; things like how eyesight is affected in space, how they sleep, and how they brush their teeth. And just a few days ago, he responded to a request to record a version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”.

Perhaps the most poignant version of the song to date, it’s garnered over 7 million views online and the seal of approval from Mr. Bowie himself. The lyrics and melody of the song are already moving, but paired with views of the Commander moving solo throughout his ship with Earth as his backdrop, it becomes a significant and stunning tribute.

One of his most quotable quotes he said during his Reddit AMA was, “Every decision you make…turns you into who you are.” I guess that means he simply decided to be awesome.

Images courtesy of NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.

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