We are proud to follow up on the story of our own Chris Hadfield taking the wheel (so to speak) of the International Space Station. We were fortunate enough to have Chris as our FIRST Chasing Atlantis interview back in July of 2011 when he was on the road to the Soyuz launch this past November and subsequent 6 month tour aboard the station, taking command yesterday. Chris becomes not only the first Canadian Commander of the ISS, but the first Canadian commander of any space vehicle.
Though orbiting hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface, Chris has remained highly connected with our Pale Blue Dot in the Universe through social media becoming somewhat of a Internet phenomenon. Articles have been writing stating that Hadfield’s journey and subsequent efforts at engaging the world’s population looking up at the night sky have made him the most recognizable name in space since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Chris’ words always connected with me, even when I was very young, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to interview him for the film. When interviewed or reflecting on this time in space, Chris spoke mainly of Earth, what it looked like from above, its fragility and its unity without borders or colored maps. This was the perspective I wanted to experience as well as share if I ever had the opportunity to become an astronaut; the Earth as small and fragile and shared by many who MUST co-exist. While I may not be able to do this from space directly, I am excited to find other means of doing the same such as sitting down with Chris directly, as well as the multitude of others we have talked to while shooting Chasing Atlantis who proudly carry a message of peace; that we’re all really made of star dust and share this one tiny speck in the cosmos.
You can check out these articles from space.com and Universe Today about Chris Hadfield’s command transfer below and I’ve also included a snippet of the interview that we did with him prior to his launch to the ISS.