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Welcome Space Man

chris hadfield waterlooOn Tuesday of this week, the news broke that Canada’s favorite space man, retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, had landed a new job –– aviation professor at the University of Waterloo. The reports say he’s not able to actually take up his teaching duties until Fall 2014 because his schedule is so full, but he’s coming to the city in which I live –– one of the most advanced communities in the world. Like just about everyone else in Waterloo, I’m now hoping I run into him in the grocery store some day!

Chris Hadfield inspired millions of people around the globe when he invited us, via the wonders of modern technology, to hang out with him on the International Space Station and tag along on his journey. He made music. He cooked meals. He did repairs. The elastic in his pajama pants broke (fortunately with no embarrassing results thanks to zero gravity). And we saw it all.

And then there were the thousands of photos he posted of our home provinces and towns… of parts of the planet rarely visited… of views we would never have otherwise seen. If, as the saying goes, an image is worth 1,000 words… he’s generously given us hundreds of thousands of memorable ones –– and that’s even before his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, comes out later this month.

It likely goes without saying that title has already been pre-ordered for my iPad. Though now that I think about it, I’m going to need to pick up the hard copy too, and keep it with me at all times –– that way if I do run into him at the grocery store someday I can ask to get it signed!

Waterloo looks forward to your arrival, Commander Hadfield –– we’ll see you around!

(Photo: NASA public use images)