Megan Garber of The Atlantic looks at the awesomeness that Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield has been in promoting the final frontier to a new generation of kids. Above, a revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
Over the course of 144 days spent on the International Space Station (encompassing 2,336 orbits of the Earth and covering nearly 62 million miles), Hadfield didn't merely do his day job -- conducting more than 130 scientific experiments testing the effects of microgravity on masses of various types. He also helped to change our concept of what it means to be an astronaut in the first place. Hadfield is a space explorer in the Gagarin/Glenn/Armstrong model, but he is something else, too: just a guy. A guy who happens to be in space. Hadfield, availing himself of new technologies that are just beginning to be widely adopted, made space travel seem accessible. He made it seem normal (or, in astronaut-speak, "nominal"). He took it out of the realm of the awe-inspiring and placed it squarely in the realm of the awesome.
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