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Chris
Hadfield

First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station

Profile

Colonel Chris Hadfield is often referred to as “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong.” He is a worldwide sensation whose video of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” - seen by over 75 million people - was called “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created”, by Bowie himself. Acclaimed for making outer space accessible to millions, and for infusing a sense of wonder into our collective consciousness not felt since humanity first walked on the Moon. Colonel Hadfield continues to bring the marvels of science and space travel to everyone he encounters.

Current Work

Colonel Hadfield can be seen as the co-creator and host of the internationally acclaimed BBC series Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?, and he is co-hosting, with actor Will Smith, the National Geographic series One Strange Rock, directed by Darren Aronofsky.

Colonel Hadfield is also the producer of the celebrated Rare Earth series on YouTube, and the creator of the on-stage celebration Generator, which combines science, comedy, and music for sold-out audiences.

Additionally, Colonel Hadfield is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Waterloo and a founding director of the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation, the national advocate for initiatives enabling Canada’s children to achieve their full potential through literacy and to become the most literate in the world.

Previous Experience

NASA: In 1992, Colonel Hadfield was selected as a NASA Mission Specialist, and three years later he was aboard the Shuttle Atlantis, where he helped build the Mir space station. In 2001, on Shuttle Endeavour, Colonel Hadfield performed two spacewalks and in 2013, he became Commander of the International Space Station for six months off planet.

Author: Colonel Hadfield is the author of three internationally bestselling books, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, You Are Here, and his children’s book, The Darkest Dark. Additionally, he released his musical album, Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, in 2015. He is also featured on Ted.com for his talk, What I Learned from Going Blind in Space.

Awards: A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.

Media
Expertise
Talking Points

An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

Colonel Chris Hadfield shows audiences how to “think like an astronaut.” Sharing the useful and practical lessons he’s learned throughout his remarkable career in the fields of leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and science and technology, his vivid and refreshing insights motivate audiences to achieve their dreams and will completely change the way they view life on Earth.

Leadership: From The Calm Into The Storm

After serving in the military and holding several leadership positions within NASA throughout the course of his incredible career, Colonel Chris Hadfield has accrued compelling stories that show all phases of leadership are keys to team victory.

Managing Complexity and Change

Commanding a spaceship during an emergency has the highest of stakes: human lives, irreplaceably expensive equipment, and worldwide scrutiny. Spaceflight is an unforgiving business, with industry success riding on every launch and critical event. Colonel Chris Hadfield held multiple leadership and management positions during his 21 years in the astronaut corps, navigating tragedy, delays, program changes, and much more. Using examples from his tremendous career, he illuminates the necessity for both preparation and reaction to complex change.

The Sky Is Not The Limit: Inspiration In Success

Drawing on his experience from over two decades as an astronaut, Colonel Chris Hadfield shares multiple stories and examples that highlight the fundamental necessity of inspiration as a vital component of success.

STEM

Colonel Chris Hadfield has worked with countless students and teachers, from pre-school to post-doctoral, for decades. Speaking in schools and at education conferences throughout his 35-year-career as an engineer, pilot, and astronaut, his rare mixture of personal experience, memorable ideas, and a warm, fun, interactive style has influenced a generation. Most recently, his extensive teachings from Earth orbit, recorded on-board the International Space Station, continue to be seen by millions via YouTube.

Hadfield strongly believes in the necessity to give every student the tools and the inspiration to succeed. His face and accomplishments are in Canadian science textbooks, as both a role model and clear example of where STEM education can lead. Using real-world examples from his unique experiences, he enables audiences to see beyond their normal horizons, and helps give them the tools and ideas for personal growth and achievement in learning.
Topics

Business

  • Mastering Leadership
  • Change Management

Innovation

  • Science & Technology

Motivational

  • Challenge & Adventure
  • Inspiring Stories

Politics & Advocacy

  • Military
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