'Space oddity' star, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfeld set to retire

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield announced yesterday his retirement after a five-month mission to space that captivated the world with his Twitter microblog.

hidden June 11, 2013 10:50:50 IST
'Space oddity' star, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfeld set to retire

Ottawa: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield announced yesterday his retirement after a five-month mission to space that captivated the world with his Twitter microblog.

“It has been an incredible adventure,” Hadfield, 53, said of his 35 years of service as a Cold War fighter pilot and astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency.

Describing his recent mission to the International Space Station as “a kind of pinnacle of my entire career... since I was a little dreaming kid of nine years old thinking of flying in space,” he said it was “time now for me to do something else.”

Space oddity star Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfeld set to retire

Chris Hadfield speaks on the phone after the Russian Soyuz space capsule landed some 150 km (90 miles) southeast of the town of Zhezkazgan, in central Kazakhstan on May 14, 2013. Reuters.

“In about a month I’ll be retiring from the Canadian Space Agency and just pursuing private interests,” Hadfield told a press conference, “and getting my feet planted on the soil and seeing where the future takes me.”

Hadfield returned to Earth last month with American astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko.

From space, Hadfield captured the public imagination with regular updates on Twitter that gave an unprecedented insight into daily life in space and access to spectacular images taken from the ISS.

Tweeting under the Star Trek-like name @Cmdr_Hadfield, the astronaut posted spectacular pictures of the Earth seen from the sky and also insights on the mundane aspects of things like eating and washing in space.

He and his team held the first live news conference from space, recorded the first music video in space — a cover of David Bowie’s classic “Space Oddity” — conducted a record number of scientific experiments on the ISS and more.

Using the power of social networks more effectively than anyone in the history of manned space flight, Hadfield has arguably become the world’s most prominent astronaut since the days of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

He inspired the public at a time when some scientists question the need for manned space flight to the ISS amid constant budget pressures.

Hadfield said he is still re-adapting to gravity since landing — his heart shrank and he has lost skeletal mass. But he said he should be “almost back to normal” by Labour Day.

He will retire on July 3.

PTI

Updated Date:

also read

NASA delays the launch of James Webb Space Telescope to May 2020
News & Analysis

NASA delays the launch of James Webb Space Telescope to May 2020

James Webb Space Telescope is an international project led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

Top news this week: Nexus 4 launched, Google I/O highlights, Windows 8.1 announced and more!
News & Analysis

Top news this week: Nexus 4 launched, Google I/O highlights, Windows 8.1 announced and more!

From the latest launches to the most important stories from the world of tech, here's a recap of the top news stories from this week.

Viral video: Canadian astronaut records first music video in space
News & Analysis

Viral video: Canadian astronaut records first music video in space

In an online video, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sings the David Bowie song "Space Oddity" while floating around in zero gravity aboard the International Space Station.