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Photo: Chris Hadfield/Twitter

It’s almost the middle of March here on the “Wet Coast” of British Columbia, and the rainy season is not over yet. I can’t wait to get out of the house and go for walks in the neighbourhood, in search of inspiration. So in the meantime, for a change of scenery, I read Chris Hadfield’s tweets.

Commander Chris Hadfield. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Commander Chris Hadfield. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Chris Hadfield is a Canadian astronaut, Commander of the International Space Station, and currently orbiting the Earth. He has been tweeting regularly since he arrived on the ISS last December. Test pilot, astronaut, mission specialist, commander of the ISS, etc. etc. I can’t list all of Commander Hadfield’s countless achievements in this post, but you can go to his Wikipedia page for more details. And he is also working on the first music album to be recorded in space. A true Renaissance man.

His tweets give us glimpses, often funny, of his daily life in space – on February 27th, “Just made myself another bag of coffee. One of those mornings, even in space : ) ”. When he gives interviews, it’s always a treat to see him in front of the camera, floating around and playing catch with the mike. I always learn a lot. For instance, how do you clean spills on the Space Station? Well, it involves gloves and rags, just like here on Earth, except, with zero gravity, it’s more fun!

As part of his research work on the Space Station, Chris Hadfield is testing for the Canadian Space Agency a device called Microflow, which, he says, could become “a real Tricorder” – yes, it turns out Commander Hadfield is a Star Trek fan (And so am I, by the way. There, I’ve said it). This device would be used to diagnose medical conditions on Earth and in Space. According to the CSA ,“The portable technology could offer near real-time medical diagnosis for astronauts in space, people in remote communities or in areas affected by natural disasters where medical equipment is not readily available.”

And his pictures of Earth, taken from the windows of the ISS, are…out of this world! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) From his unique vantage point, Chris Hadfield captures images of weather systems and storms hurtling across the skies, or shows how water and wind can slowly reshape the landscape. What I find fascinating is how his photographs reveal the impact that we have on our planet, whether through agriculture, industrialization or urbanization. There are places where the surface of the planet has been cultivated, tamed, and sometimes deeply scarred. There are also, still, some vast empty expanses. And then there are places where millions of us are huddled together:

Manila, Philippines. Photo: Chris Hadfield/Twitter

Manila, Philippines. Photo: Chris Hadfield/Twitter

What is obvious is that we humans share a beautiful home (and with a beautiful view).

Moonrise, March 4. Photo: Chris Hadfield

Moonrise, March 4. Photo: Chris Hadfield/Twitter

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7 thoughts on “Home

  1. Bob

    Yes, it is a beautiful place, this earth of ours, and made more beautiful by artists who observe, reflect, cherish and create.

    Reply
  2. danielle renault

    Je ne connaissais pas pas Chris Hadfield, mais mon anglais lacunaire m’a quand même permis de le découvrir grâce à toi, de sourire, et aussi de souscrire à ta magnifique définition : a true Renaissance man!

    Reply
    1. metalandmettle Post author

      Merci Danielle! Te souviens-tu du 20 juillet 1969? On était tous aux Forges ce soir-là. Quand on a vu à la télévision « Eagle » se poser sur la lune, on est tous sortis dans la cour. Je nous revois tous en train de regarder la lune. Quel moment inoubliable !

      Reply
  3. artdoesmatter

    Dominique – the “wet season” seems to be treading upon us too, as today it feels as though we’ve received a half-inch of rain! This is a most enjoyable post you’ve written – and I’ll be definitely sharing w/ my husband, who is a fellow space program follower (as well as trekkie!) May the weather move into warmer and dryer circles for you later this week! :)

    Reply
    1. metalandmettle Post author

      Thank you Patricia! Spring still seems far away, but interacting with like-minded creative people like you through this blog really brightens up these bleak, rainy days.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Skyfall (not the movie) | metal+mettle

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