Aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Chris Hadfield had the opportunity to speak today to over 800 kindergarten to grade 8 students who had assembled at a school named in his honour, Chris Hadfield Public School in Milton, Ontario.
Along with the students in attendance was Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Jeremy Hansen who moderated the interactive session, the Mayor of Milton, members of the Halton District School Board and Hadfield’s parents.
Hadfield answered many great questions from the students including what the coolest thing he’d seen in space. After thinking for a second, Hadfield answered, sunrise.
He described how the the ISS drives into the sunshine as they see 16 sunrises a day, and how the whole horizon glows orange with every color in the rainbow and then suddenly, the sun then bursts up.
Hadfield has become a bit of a social media celebrity through his Twitter account. He seems to understand the medium and is connecting with people around the world, daily.
His Twitter account, which before the mission started had an impressive 20,000 odd followers, has now grown more than 10 fold to close to 224,000 followers as of today.
Hadfield is hardly the first astronaut to tweet from space, but his interactions with followers and daily posting of images, have caught peoples attention.
His success is part a reflection of his personality, outgoing, positive and willing to share and partly due to technology. The ISS recently received a shipment of tablets, iPads in fact, which the astronauts use on a daily.
With Hadfield’s permission, SpaceRef has been adding his tweeted images, both pre-launch and during the mission to a special image feed on Flickr. He’s now posted over 800 images to his feed and still has over four months left in space. He’ll have quite a scrapbook when he’s done.
Follow Chris on his journey as we document his adventure on our Chris Hadfield Special page.