Col. Chris Hadfield is ‘the first Canadian to walk in space’.
Hadfield was born on August 29, 1959. Following the moon landing on July 20, 1969, he quietly began his mission towards becoming an astronaut; but the gap between being a young boy on an Ontario corn farm and the first Canadian to walk in space seemed unbridgeable. Canada had no astronaut program, nor would it for the foreseeable future.
But Hadfield stuck to it. He spent his time at home learning mechanics on tractors and old cars, flying with his father and brothers every chance he could. Enrolling in air cadets, he worked his way up through the RCAF, becoming an experimental test pilot and flying over 70 types of aircraft. He made certain that when the opportunity arose, he would be prepared for it.
In 1995, Hadfield rode his first rocket. He flew again in 2001, installing Canadarm2. He served as Chief of Robotics, CapCom, and NASA’s operation in Russia, eventually going on to pilot a Russian Soyuz.
He became the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station in 2013, and, with his photographs and videos from space, a YouTube sensation. His autobiography, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, was a New York Times bestseller.