Chris Hadfield has worn many hats in his career, including astronaut, engineer, fighter pilot, musician, and writer. Notably, he’s the first Canadian to venture into the great expanse of outer space and perform some serious extravehicular activities. Hadfield has a remarkable space resume, with two Space Shuttle missions under his belt, and he even took command of the International Space Station (ISS) at one point and chalked up a hefty six months living it up in orbit and tallying nearly 4,000 hours in the zero-gravity zone. Before his space adventures, he spent a solid 25 years serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, where he honed his skills as an Air Command fighter pilot.
Another thing Hadfield is good at is teaching potential space travellers about exploration to the stars in a MasterClass course. In this MasterClass, students will delve into the life of an astronaut, exploring the human impact of space travel and its profound effects on both an astronaut’s physical and mental well-being.
In his online science class, Hadfield teaches you about:
- Orbital mechanics
- Human survival in space
- Spaceship design
- The future of space travel
- Commanding the ISS
- The mind and body in space
- Applying space to Earth
Hadfield imparts his most profound insights drawn from his unforgettable experiences in space, reshaping our perspective on our future beyond Earth and igniting inspiration for the aspiring astronauts of tomorrow.
Here’s what he had to say during the short video:
“No astronaut launches for space with their fingers crossed. That’s not how we deal with risk. What I learned from 21 years as an astronaut is that the more you know, the less you fear.
“When the clock hits zero, start focusing in thinking of nothing else but the moment that you’re in, study every system on a spaceship and then boil it down to what I call a one-pager. You’ve got to be able to solve your problems in one breath.
“You have to push your lungs forward through the drag of the atmosphere crushed into your chair, you’re like leaf and a hurricane. The reason is one half rho V squared s. Sixteen times the speed of sound as you accelerate harder and harder that light blue Florida sky starts to get darker and darker and then suddenly black and the engine shut off and you’re weightless. You start to unavoidably wonder: Are we alone in the universe or not?
“Our technology is just good enough now that some of you taking this masterclass are going to fly in space. Reusable rocket ships give us access to explore like we’ve never had before. It will be a great moment of introspection for humanity. If you’re the person who finds that one little fossilised flower on Mars.”
Featured image: Official photo of Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield prior to the launch of mission Expedition 34/35. Credit: Canadian Space Agency