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Chris Hadfield


Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield

Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield

NASA Johnson Space Center

Updated: 12/31/12

About Chris Hadfield:

A farm boy from southern Ontario, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was interested in flying from an early age. He joined the Air Cadets in his teens, and later became a test pilot in the Canadian Air Force. In 1992 Chris Hadfield was chosen as one of four new Canadian astronauts.

In 1995 Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit, and the only Canadian to ever board the Russian space station Mir. In 2001 on a space flight to the International Space Station (ISS), Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian to walk in space.

In 2012 Chris Hadfield once more took off for the ISS, this time to work there for five months. He will take over as Commander of the ISS in the second part of the mission.

Space Missions of Chris Hadfield:

  • Mission Specialist on Space Mission STS-74 - Space Shuttle Atlantis - November 12-20, 1995

  • Mission Specialist on Space Mission STS-100 - Space Shuttle Endeavour - April 19 - May 1, 2001

  • Flight Engineer and ISS Commaneder on Expedition 34/35 - Soyuz TMA - Launched December 19, 2012 and scheduled to last for five months


August 29, 1959, in Sarnia, Ontario. Chris Hadfield was raised in Milton, Ontario.


  • Royal Roads Military College, Victoria BC

  • BEng in Mechanical Engineering - Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario

  • Post graduate research at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario

  • MSc in Aviation Systems - University of Tennessee

Military Career of Chris Hadfield:

  • Chris Hadfield joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1978.

  • Chris Hadfield did his basic flight training in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. He took Basic Jet Training in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and trained as a fighter pilot on CF-5s and CF-18s in Cold Lake, Alberta.

  • From 1985-88 Chris Hadfield flew CF-18s for NORAD with 425 Squadron.

  • After attending the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, Chris Hadfield worked as an exchange officer with the United States Navy.

  • Chris Hadfield has flown more than 70 types of aircraft. His accomplishments include testing F/A-18 and A-7 aircraft; doing research on pitch control margin simulation and flight; completing the first military flight of F/A-18 enhanced performance engines; and participation in the F/A-18 out-of-control recovery test program.

  • Chris Hadfield retired as a Colonel from the Canadian Air Force in 2003 after 25 years of military service.

Chris Hadfield the Astronaut:

  • In 1992 Chris Hadfield was chosen to be a Canadian astronuat.

  • Later in 1992, Chris Hadfield was assigned to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas where he worked on technical and safety issues for space shuttle operations, and helped with the development of the glass shuttle cockpit.

  • Chris Hadfield served as NASA Chief Capcom for 25 space shuttle missions.

  • In 1995 Chris Hadfield was a mission specialist on STS-74, NASA's second space shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir.

  • From 1996 to 2000, Chris Hadfield was Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency, coordinating the activities of Canadian astronauts.

  • In 2001, Chris Hadfield flew as a mission specialist on STS-100 which delivered and installed Canadarm 2, the second-generation Canadian-built robotic arm, to the International Space Station. During this mission, Chris Hadfield made two space walks, making him the first Canadian to walk in space.

  • Chris Hadfield served as Director of Operations for NASA at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia from 2001 to 2003. He trained and became fully qualified to be a flight engineer cosmonaut in the Soyuz TMA spacecraft, and to perform space walks in the Russian Orlan spacesuit.

  • From 2003 to 2006, Chris Hadfield was Chief of Robotics for the NASA Astronaut Office at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

  • In 2006, Chris Hadfield became Chief of International Space Station Operations.

  • In 2008 Chris Hadfield started training to be a backup to Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk for a 6-month stay in space on the International Space Station. That mission took place in 2009.

  • In December 2012 Chris Hadfield flew in a Russian Soyuz rocket on Expedition 34/35 to the International Space Station where he will spend five months. He will perform scientific experiments, operate Canadarm2 and in the second half of the mission serve as Commander of the International Space Station, the first Canadian to have that responsibility. He also plans to play his guitar and record some music while he's there.

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