Referred to as “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Colonel Chris Hadfield is a worldwide sensation whose video of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” – seen by over 75 million people online — 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.
He recently sat down with NPR’s Ask Me Another to talk about his time in space and why he actually doesn’t miss space:
Back on the ground, Hadfield confessed that although he loved the experience, he doesn’t miss space. “We’re at the stage now of not just seeing if we can get there, but starting to colonize another planet. That’s what interests me. The stuff that’s happening, and coming up, and being invented. … I think there’s too much cool stuff going on to just reminisce.”
Hadfield decided he wanted to be an astronaut when he was just nine years old. But “it’s so far in the future, especially if you’re Canadian— it’s like, I mean, come on,” he joked. “I thought, you know, well I’m gonna work on it, but I’m never gonna count on it.” He kept his expectations low, and he told Eisenberg that he never allowed himself to believe he have achieved his goal “until you’ve gotten into the rocket, and the engines have worked, and they blast you into space, and the engines shut off, and you look around and you go, ‘I am here. This is for real. I am an astronaut right now.'”
The audio of the interview also goes into some highlights, like why skeletons need to be rebuilt when you return to Earth from space (your body senses that there’s no need for a strong skeleton when there’s an absence of gravity), and whether he thinks there’s alien life out there in the cosmos (probably).
Listen to the full show here.