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Lessons from our favourite astronaut

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, NASA, Wikimedia CommonsEditorial: I was listening to Chris Hadfield being interviewed on TV the other day—he’s the Canadian astronaut who commandeered the International Space Station—and he was talking about the importance of human space travel and why we shouldn’t just rely on robots to provide us with the information. Sure, we can learn everything we need to know about a place, be it space or the Taj Mahal, by looking at pictures and reading reports but it only matters when people are involved, he says.

While few of us will leave the earth on our travels—“a huge privilege”—exploring far off places is something people have been doing since time began. It’s the human experience.

Asked what he thinks is the most beautiful place on earth looking down from space he says probably the Bahamas because the reefs are so widespread and so colourful. The most beautiful scene is driving into a sunrise because the whole horizon erupts into colour. You get 16 sunrises a day when you’re in the space station.

Hadfield is all about challenging and inspiring people, telling them “Not to sweat the small stuff” and that “Your life is the sum of all the little decisions you make”, appropriate thoughts in December as we make plans for the coming year.

Sylvia Fanjoy

© Riding the buses 2013

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