Last night, Canadians from coast to coast cheered as Astronaut Chris Hadfield–the first Canadian to command the International Space Station–safely returned to Earth after almost five months in orbit.
As Bob McDonald, the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, wrote, the capsule and its crew went through a rapid deceleration as they hurtled back to Earth. “When they hit the air, they’re like a stone hitting water,” he described. But it isn’t just the journey back to gravity that effects astronauts–re-adapting to life back on our planet is often a journey in and of itself.
In 1992, Dr. Roberta Bondar was the first Canadian woman to fly in space. An astronaut, physician, and photographer, Dr. Bondar expanded the horizons of millions when she joined the space shuttle Discovery for its mission. Now also celebrated as a powerful speaker, a champion of the environment, and for her incredible photographs which showcase the wonder of the natural world, Dr. Bondar described to CBC Radio’s Matt Galloway what Hadfield may experience as he re-acclimatizes to life on Earth: