Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield

Astronaut | First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station

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 — 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, Hadfield continues to bring the marvels of science and space travel to everyone he encounters.

Hadfield has flown three space missions, built two space stations, performed two spacewalks, crewed the Shuttle and Soyuz, and in 2013 became the commander of the International Space Station for six months off planet.

Formerly NASA’s director of operations, Hadfield is a heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot whose 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.

An internationally bestselling author, Hadfield has written three books: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, You Are Here, and his children’s book, The Darkest Dark. In 2021, he will release his new book, The Apollo Murders — a thriller set in space. He’s also released a musical album, Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, and is featured on for his talk, What I Learned from Going Blind in Space, which has been viewed more than 11 million times.

Hadfield is the co-creator and host of the internationally acclaimed BBC series Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?, as well as the co-host, with actor Will Smith, of National Geographic’s One Strange Rock, directed by Darren Aronofsky. He also produces the celebrated Rare Earth series on YouTube and is the creator of the on-stage celebration Generator, which combines science, comedy, and music.

Additionally, Hadfield is an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo, an adviser to SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, and chair of the board of the Open Lunar Foundation.

“Good morning, Earth!” (“Bonjour la Terre!”) C’est ainsi que le colonel Chris Hadfield débutait chaque matin ses sessions sur Twitter pendant son séjour de cinq mois à bord de la Station spatiale internationale. Au terme d’une carrière d’astronaute ayant duré 21 ans, au cours de laquelle il a participé à trois vols dans l’espace, le colonel Hadfield est devenu une célébrité mondiale en canalisant le pouvoir des médias sociaux pour rendre l’espace accessible à tous, en y réinjectant au passage un sens de l’émerveillement qui n’avait pas été ressenti par les citoyens de la Terre depuis les premiers pas de l’Homme sur la Lune. Maintenant considéré comme l’astronaute le plus connu depuis Neil Armstrong, Chris Hadfield continue de promouvoir les merveilles de la science et de l’espace auprès de tous ceux qu’il rencontre.

Le colonel Hadfield a inscrit plusieurs premières au palmarès de l’histoire du Canada dans l’espace. En 1992, il a été sélectionné par l’Agence spatiale canadienne pour entreprendre un entraînement de spécialiste de mission de la NASA – devenant à ce titre le premier astronaute canadien entièrement qualifié pour opérer les systèmes de la navette spatiale. Trois ans plus tard, à bord de la navette Atlantis, Hadfield a été le premier Canadien à opérer le Bras canadien dans l’espace, ainsi que le premier Canadien à visiter un vaisseau spatial russe alors qu’il contribuait à la construction de la station spatiale Mir. En 2001, à bord de la navette Endeavour, le colonel Hadfield est devenu le premier Canadien à marcher dans l’espace alors qu’il effectuait deux sorties extravéhiculaires pour installer le Canadarm2 sur la station spatiale. En 2013, il devenait le commandant de la Station spatiale internationale – à ce jour, le premier et seul Canadien à prendre le commandement d’un vaisseau spatial habité.

Au cours d’une carrière présentant de multiples facettes, le colonel Hadfield a, entre autres, intercepté des bombardiers soviétiques au-dessus de l’espace aérien du Canada, vécu au fond de l’océan, agi en tant que Directeur des opérations de la NASA en Russie, et enregistré des vidéos à caractère scientifique et musical qui ont été visionnées par des centaines de millions d’internautes.

Décoré de nombreuses fois à titre d’astronaute, d’ingénieur et de pilote, le colonel Hadfield s’est vu décerné plusieurs médailles, parmi lesquelles celle de l’Ordre du Canada, celle de l’Ordre de l’Ontario, la Meritorious Service Cross, et la NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Il a été nommé meilleur pilote d’essai (Top Test Pilot) à la fois par la US Air Force et par la US Navy, et il a été intronisé au Temple de la renommée de l’Aviation du Canada. Auteur du bestseller international Guide d’un astronaute pour la vie sur Terre, Chris Hadfield a été commémoré sur des timbres émis par Postes Canada, sur des pièces d’or et d’argent frappées par la Monnaie royale canadienne, ainsi que sur le nouveau billet de banque canadien de cinq dollars (qui célèbre également ses collègues astronautes Steve MacLean et Dave Williams).

Extreme Leadership

Commanding a spaceship takes superb leadership. The vehicle is complex, the team is international, the crew is on their own and the stakes are the very highest – huge financial consequences, and perpetual life or death.

Only one Canadian has ever held that command – Colonel Chris Hadfield. Through 25 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force and 21 years with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, Chris has developed and honed leadership theories and practices that have taken him to the very top.

In his talk on Extreme Leadership, Chris outlines fundamental theories and original insights, interspersed with examples from his own experience, including:

  • US Navy Top Test Pilot
  • NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia
  • National Outdoor Leadership School Mentor
  • NASA Astronaut Chief of Space Station Operations
  • International Space Station Commander

With discussions of objective, preparation, simulation and focused execution, Chris takes the audience through several interactive scenarios, developing ideas that are then reinforced with memorable examples from fighter test flying and spaceflight.

Chris has been an instructor in Crew Resource Management, as well as a teacher in all phases of astronaut/groundcrew team development. He is also a three-time internationally best-selling author, and the leadership ideas in his book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth are regularly used by students and instructors around the world.

An immensely experienced teacher, speaker and leader, Chris will help your team see, learn and remember how to lead more effectively.

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.


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.

Chris 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.

A Musical Evening with Chris Hadfield

Colonel Chris Hadfield shares a selection of stories, images, songs, and ideas in a musical presentation that delights audiences of all ages.

Performing songs like his evocative “Beyond the Terra”, which looks away from the land to the skies, Colonel Hadfield ties his presentation together with incredible tales from over the course of his career, including his experience as the ISS commander.

Suitable for audiences big, small, and in-between, Chris customizes his performance to meet the needs of all kinds of clients.

An Astronaut's Guide to Surviving Uncertainty

There is nothing more isolating than living and working in space. Having commanded the International Space Station for months off planet, Colonel Chris Hadfield is experienced in managing people, complexity, and change under extreme circumstances. Surrounded by life-threatening risk, his daily routine was to prepare for and solve worse-case scenarios, from both a team and leadership perspective.

Hadfield draws from his experiences and lessons learned as NASA’s former director of operations in Russia, to share the best strategies and tactics to help individuals, teams, and leaders succeed within these uncertain times. Key topics include managing stress, leading under pressure, encouraging collaboration amongst remote and diverse teams, redefining norms, and more.

A sought after and trusted advisor, Hadfield is able to break down complex issues through compelling storytelling that leaves audiences inspired, motivated, and ready to tackle any challenge they may face, no matter the circumstances.

This is an exclusive, limited time offer for a one-on-one live, virtual presentation. Presented through Zoom, it combines a 20-minute keynote with Q&A. Length and topic is customizable depending on client needs.

Celebrity Services

Colonel Chris Hadfield is represented by The Spotlight Agency for sponsorships, endorsements, public relations and media spokesperson campaigns, product launches, voiceovers, celebrity appearances, and more.  Please visit The Spotlight Agency for more details.