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Chris Hadfield: The life of astronauts is much more than a spacewalk



When many people think of astronauts, they think of absurdly qualified men and women who are rolling through the cylindrical modules of the International Space Station or hovering on an unlikely, quiet spacewalk beside their broad, golden solar arrays. The unlikely that it is not a living soul in a low earth orbit (the ISS has been continuously inhabited for two decades), but the fact that anyone who goes around the planet at 17,000 miles per hour is doing everything can they do it with such equanimity.

The astronauts owe much of their serenity to the space of time they are preparing here on Earth. "I've been an astronaut for 21 years," says Chris Hadfield, the charismatic Canadian astronaut known for his social media spirit, his photographs of low earth orbit, his unparalleled cover of David Bowie's "Space Odyssey" and his chevron mustache. "I was in space for only six months."

In this video, Hadfield, who retired in 201

3, describes not only this short time in space – three missions with 166 days – but all the time around him that made these trips possible. People often ask him what astronauts do between space flights, "as if we're sitting in a waiting room or sitting somewhere." But #astronautlife has much more to offer than turning around in weightlessness.

For example, after becoming an astronaut in 1992, Hadfield spent most of his time helping other astronauts. On 25 consecutive Space Shuttle missions, he served as NASA's chief capsule communicator, CAPCOM for short; If astronauts rounded the mission control center, they would talk to Hadfield. "If Houston wants to talk to a spaceship, you can not let 50 people talk on the radio," says Hadfield. "I was kind of a steward for the crew on Earth."

The time in which he assisted other astronauts prepared Hadfield for his own stays in space. In fact, all of the time that triggered inbound transmissions from Earth's low orbit may have contributed to calming his nerves when, just a few years later, he asked Houston for help.

In 2001, Hadfield worked outside his first station in front of the International Space Station Spacewalk, when he was blindfolded. The anti-fog treatment of the visor of his spacesuit had irritated him, so he could tear his vision and blur. Nowhere in weightlessness could the fluid accumulate and run over to its other eye, causing it to become completely blinded. He asked for help to Houston.

The mission control instructed Hadfield to open the purge valve of his helmet. He remembers floating blindly, tethered to the ISS at his feet and hearing air hissing from his spacesuit. "Luckily, the fresh oxygen that blew in my helmet was enough to vaporize the big teardrops in my eyes," says Hadfield. "At some point I was able to see again and I told them I was fine." Close my valve and get back to work. "Do you know how to know it."

Hadfield spent the early Aughts supervising various NASA weapons, first as Director of the Agency in Russia, where he was fluent in the mechanical functions of Roscosmos' Soyuz TMA spacecraft and Orlan, Master of Robotics at the Astronaut Office, then served as head of the International Space Station at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, and from 2008 to 2009 coached astronaut Robert Thirsk for the 21st. ISS expedition and helped develop emergency procedures for the orbital outpost.

Once again, this training helped fellow astronauts do it well: In 2010, NASA appointed Hadfield the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield's time outside the Earth's atmosphere, which he had shared as an astronaut for over 21 years tte, accounted for only two percent of his career. It was even less than that, considering the time he had spent as a member of the Canadian military en route to astronauts. Or previously as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Or before played a spaceman as a child in a Quaker Oats Box, a rocket ship. In space flight as well as in life, a preparation is needed to really reach the mark.


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