Star Canadian spaceman Chris Hadfield retiring

Jun 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: Mysteries of space dust revealed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Canadian commands space station for first time

Mar 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

Mysteries of space dust revealed

Aug 29, 2014

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA's Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks open a door to studying the origins of the ...

A guide to the 2014 Neptune opposition season

Aug 29, 2014

Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant ...

Informing NASA's Asteroid Initiative: A citizen forum

Aug 28, 2014

In its history, the Earth has been repeatedly struck by asteroids, large chunks of rock from space that can cause considerable damage in a collision. Can we—or should we—try to protect Earth from potentially ...

Image: Rosetta's comet looms

Aug 28, 2014

Wow! Rosetta is getting ever-closer to its target comet by the day. This navigation camera shot from Aug. 23 shows that the spacecraft is so close to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that it's difficult to ...

User comments : 0