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Chris Hadfield talks about Twitter with Neil deGrasse Tyson

Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield “I know a thing or two about space, but I’ve never been in space.”

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield appeared on the syndicated podcast Startalk Radio with host Neil de Grasse Tyson yesterday. While deGrasse Tyson, as Director of the Hayden Planetarium, certainly knows plenty about space, he spent much of his time with Hadfield talking about the earthly delights of Twitter.

Hadfield says that while he always tried to take pictures while in space, social media was a revelation to him because of the ability to share the rarefied environment almost instantly.

“With social media, you can grab one of the cameras on board, take a picture of someplace, go click, pull the chip out, stick it in the computer and on Twitter, immediately say not just to people from that place but around the whole world, say “Look at this!” And the power of that was amazing to watch.”

Through Twitter, Hadfield’s followers have watched him conduct science experiments on board the International Space Station, saw his pictures of places like Mount Vesuvius and the Galapagos Islands and, of course, watched him sing and play guitar.

“Who covers Bowie, why would I ever do that?”, asked Hadfield. “Besides, the astronaut dies at the end of the song!”

A lifelong musician, Chris Hadfield says he had some reservations about the cover he did of “Space Oddity”, which went viral through social media.

“Who covers Bowie, why would I ever do that?”, asked Hadfield. “Besides, the astronaut dies at the end of the song!”

Startalk, a podcast about space and science that is recorded at the American Musuem of Natural History in New York, debuted in 2009. Guests have included astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actor Morgan Freeman, and the late comedian Joan Rivers. The show’s host, Neil de Grasse Tyson, is that most improbable of things; a rockstar astrophysicist.

The runaway success of the StarTalk radio show has prompted the National Geographic Channel to bring the show to television. Season one of the program will include interviews with former President Jimmy Carter, Arianna Huffington, and Twitter co-founderBiz Stone. “You learn about the brain wiring of the person who founded Twitter,” commented Tyson.

Sarnia-Ontario born Hadfield was one of five crew members of NASA’s Expedition 34. In 2012, he launched in the Soyuz TMA-07M flight for a long duration stay on board the International Space Station as part of Expedition 35. He subsequently became the first Canadian to command the ISS, and an international celebrity for his quirky and engaging manner, often expressed through Twitter. In 2013, following a 21-year career as an astronaut, Hadfield announced his retirement.

Hadfield, the most well known of all Canadian astronauts, currently has more than 1.37-million followers on Twitter.

Click here for the full interview.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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