Star Canadian spaceman Chris Hadfield retiring

June 10, 2013

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield announced Monday his retirement after a five-month mission to space that captivated the world with his Twitter microblog.

"It has been an incredible adventure," Hadfield, 53, said of his 35 years of service as a Cold War fighter pilot and astronaut with the Canadian Agency.

Describing his recent mission to the as "a kind of pinnacle of my entire career... since I was a little dreaming kid of nine years old thinking of flying in space," he said it was "time now for me to do something else."

"In about a month I'll be retiring from the and just pursuing private interests," Hadfield told a press conference, "and getting my feet planted on the soil and seeing where the future takes me."

Hadfield returned to Earth last month with American astronaut Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko.

From space, Hadfield captured the public imagination with regular updates on that gave an unprecedented insight into daily life in space and access to spectacular images taken from the ISS.

Tweeting under the Star Trek-like name @Cmdr_Hadfield, the astronaut posted spectacular pictures of the Earth seen from the sky and also insights on the mundane aspects of things like eating and washing in space.

He and his team held the first live news conference from space, recorded the first music video in space—a cover of David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity"—conducted a record number of scientific experiments on the ISS and more.

Using the power of social networks more effectively than anyone in the history of , Hadfield has arguably become the world's most prominent astronaut since the days of and Buzz Aldrin.

He inspired the public at a time when some scientists question the need for manned space flight to the ISS amid constant budget pressures.

Hadfield said he is still re-adapting to gravity since landing—his heart shrank and he has lost skeletal mass. But he said he should be "almost back to normal" by Labor Day.

He will retire on July 3.

Explore further: Star Canadian spaceman back on Earth, relishing fresh air

Related Stories

Canadian commands space station for first time

March 13, 2013

With the ringing of a ceremonial bell in space to mark a crew change, astronaut Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to assume command of the International Space Station on Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Hubble catches a transformation in the Virgo constellation

December 9, 2016

The constellation of Virgo (The Virgin) is especially rich in galaxies, due in part to the presence of a massive and gravitationally-bound collection of over 1300 galaxies called the Virgo Cluster. One particular member of ...

Scientists sweep stodgy stature from Saturn's C ring

December 9, 2016

As a cosmic dust magnet, Saturn's C ring gives away its youth. Once thought formed in an older, primordial era, the ring may be but a mere babe – less than 100 million years old, according to Cornell-led astronomers in ...

Khatyrka meteorite found to have third quasicrystal

December 9, 2016

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from the U.S. and Italy has found evidence of a naturally formed quasicrystal in a sample obtained from the Khatyrka meteorite. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.