Canada’s first spaceship commander is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday and brings his “Canada 150 Tour” to Regina Tuesday night
Colonel Chris Hadfield is one of the most seasoned and accomplished astronauts in the world. In 1992 he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as a NASA Mission Specialist.
In November 1995 while aboard Shuttle Atlantis, he was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in space.
His other achievements are numerous, but Hadfield’s stop in Regina tonight likely will have an out-of-this-world feeling to it.
“What’s coming next? What should we be doing next? What should we be doing next to help our children?” Hadfield said. “Especially from a perspective of someone who has had a chance to fly across Canada in a spaceship – in less than ten minutes – to see our country.”
Hadfield, who’s also a musician, intends to share his unique perspective of Canada, by looking at the history and future of the nation through its people and the land.
“A chance for interaction with the crowds,” Hadfield said. “Some Q and A. And also, of course, some music. So much of how we celebrate and define ourselves in our culture is musical. So it will be all those things. All together.”
Hadfield will also share images, videos, music and ideas of Canada at 150. And he’ll share what it was like to be in space — seeing Canada.
“To see it all as one place,”Hadfield said. “It permanently stays with me. The sense of both the enormity of our country, but also the tininess of it. And therefore, the shared human experience of being here.”
Hadfield was the first Canadian to perform two spacewalks in 2001, and in 2013 he was the first and only Canadian Commander of the International Space Station.
While in orbit, Hadfield was a constant presence on social media and produced what is considered to be the first music video shot in space — a version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
He says his Saskatchewan roots played a big role in his life.
“In about 1908, my great grandfather heard that call from the Minister of Immigration,” Hadfield said. “For people to come to Canada, the land of opportunity. And he came to Moose Jaw and had his family. My grandmother was born in Moose Jaw. It definitely was the lure of the prairies that brought Hadfields to Canada originally.”
Hadfield’s show starts at 8 p.m. at the Conexus Art Centre.