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Colonel Chris Hadfield Releases An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth October 29, 2013

Colonel Chris Hadfield Releases <I>An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth</I> October 29, 2013

Retired Canadian astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield can now add published author to his long list of achievements. The former space commander, who was the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, will release his first book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth on Oct. 29. Published by Random House Canada, the book gives readers an inside look into his years of space exploration, including the five months he spent on the ISS.

“It was a very busy time,” Hadfield told CTV’s Canada AM on Friday. The 54-year-old, who retired from the Canadian Space Agency this summer, said he worked seven days a week for the entire duration of the mission, waking up at 6 a.m. every morning and working until 1 a.m.


“But I figured I wasn’t going to be in space for the rest of my life, let’s make something of it. Let’s really keep busy and fill every unforgiving minute.”

While on board the ISS, Hadfield performed more than 130 science experiments. He also gained fans around the world thanks to his prolific Twitter stream of videos, songs and pictures depicting his life in orbit.

“I’m no wonderful photographer…but I (was) in a place where the world was basically showing me secrets,” Hadfield said. “It was like lifting up the corner of a tent and saying look what I’m showing you now.”

After returning to Earth in May, the Ontario native underwent weeks of post-mission checkups and medical tests in Texas. Hadfield, who will be joining the University of Waterloo’s faculty as a professor of aviation next fall, said he is now “mostly normal.”

He said it took approximately four months for him to be able to run properly.

“The pounding of my legs, pushing the blood down to my feet, my body just couldn’t get it back up to my heart, lungs and head.”

Hadfield said he lost approximately eight per cent of the bone across his hip and that it’s still in the process of growing back.

“What’s amazing is that the osteoporosis reverses,” said Hadfield, adding that he hopes that by the time a year has passed, all the bones in his body will have grown back.

Hadfield’s book, the first of a two-book agreement, also features photos taken while he was on board the Russian Soyuz rocket, which was used to bring him and two other astronauts safely back down to Earth.

The picture in the book shows Hadfield sitting in a cramped space along with Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn.

“You have all of your survival gear in there in case the Soyuz lands in the ocean, the dessert, the Arctic, anywhere in the world, it’s all in that little capsule.”