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. 

Prior to his becoming an astronaut, Chris Hadfield was a tactical fighter pilot with the Canadian Armed Forces. He has flown over 70 different types of aircraft on various missions and test flights, being 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.  

Over the course of his career, Hadfield pursued education at the Royal Roads Military College, in Victoria, British Columbia, followed by two years at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, where he received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. 

In 1995, Hadfield became the first Canadian to walk in space, and the first astronaut to operate the Canadarm. He has flown in 3 missions, built 2 space stations, performed 2 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. 

Chris Hadfield’s 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.

A galactic virtuoso

In 2015, he released a musical album, Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, the first full-length album to be recorded off-planet. Songs From a Tin Can 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.   In 2023, he was asked to advise and assist King Charles III in exploring sustainability in space. 

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Explore the written universe of Chris Hadfield

An internationally bestselling author, Hadfield has written 5 books, ranging from autobiographies to thrillers and a children’s book.

Discover Chris Hadfield’s Books