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Farewell, Major Tom: Astronaut, Social Media Star Chris Hadfield Announces Retirement

by Adriana Lee | June 13, 2013June 13, 2013 11:30 pm PDT


chris-hadfield-canadian-astronautOur “Major Tom,” the astronaut who has captivated the often fickle social webs, the man who brought interstellar awesomeness to social media via music, education and more is officially hanging up his space suit. After a 35-year career, Chris Hadfield is retiring on July 3.

His transmissions, interviews, sing-alongs, photos and other comms from the International Space Station were prolific, and his reach via video and social media has been epic. Hadfield — the first Canadian commander of the ISS, as well as the first person to record a song in space — has more than a million followers on Twitter alone. Since he returned after his five-month mission, he continues to reach out, chronicling his journey from space cowboy to Earth dweller. But no matter where he roams, his fans connect deeply with his humility and his incredibly good humor through sometimes difficult — and often funny — circumstances.

Hadfield has humanized the endeavor of manned space flight, and in doing so, he may have done what few others could. He single-handedly made mankind fall in love with space exploration again. And somewhere along the way, people totally fell in love with him as well. He is clearly as adored inside the space program as he is by the rest of the world.

This one’s for you, Chris. Job very well done, sir. On this occasion, we couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute than bringing back a pair of Hadfield’s best known vids. The first explains what happens when people cry in space. The second, his own rendition of “Space Oddity,” the last video he shot on board the ISS.

Adriana Lee

Adriana is the resident writer-slash-culture vulture who has written about everything from smartphones, tablets, apps, accessories, and small biz...