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Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield Announces Retirement

Submitted by on June 11, 2013 – 9:25 am4 Comments

Cmdr. Chris Hadfield has announced his retirement after a 21-year career with the Canadian Space Agency. Hadfield had just returned from a five-month mission aboard the International Space Station, where he became an international celebrity for his numerous public appearances and lively web presence.

Despite being a national icon, Hadfield has not actually lived in Canada regularly since the late 1980′s, when he moved to Texas as a Royal Air Force pilot to work with the US military. As he entered the space program, he remained in the US for education, training, and work with NASA.

“[I'll be] making good on a promise I made my wife nearly 30 years ago — that yes, eventually, we would be moving back to Canada,” Hadfield said at a press conference on Monday, just after meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

During his space career, Hadfield became the first Canadian to walk in space, the only Canadian ever to board the Russian space station Mir, and the first Canadian to command the ISS.

He developed a notable presence on social media, with almost a million Twitter followers, and one of the most popular  ”AMA” interviews (conducted while he was in orbit) on the website Reddit.  Hadfield also recorded a complete, original song in space (“Jewel in the Night”), and composed a song from the space station with The Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson entitled “Is Somebody Singing?” (or “I.S.S.”). Just before returning from the ISS, Hadfield released a special music video recorded on the space station of David Bowie‘s hit, “Space Oddity.”

[via CBC]

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