Chris Hadfield | Astronaut | First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station (2013)

Chris Hadfield

Astronaut | First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station (2013)

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Chris Hadfield

Referred to as “the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong,” Colonel Chris Hadfield is a worldwide sensation whose video of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” — seen by over 75 million people — was called “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created”, by Bowie himself. Acclaimed for making outer space accessible to millions, and for infusing a sense of wonder into our collective consciousness not felt since humanity first walked on the Moon, Hadfield continues to bring the marvels of science and space travel to everyone he encounters.

Hadfield has flown three space missions, built two space stations, performed two spacewalks, crewed the Shuttle and Soyuz, and in 2013 named the commander of the International Space Station for six months off planet.


Formerly NASA’s director of operations, Hadfield is a heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and military fighter/test pilot whose many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.


An internationally bestselling author, Hadfield has written four books: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth; You Are Here; his children’s book, The Darkest Dark; and the critically acclaimed The Apollo Murders — a thriller set in space and his first fiction novel. Hadfield also released a musical album, Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, and is featured on for his talk, “What I Learned from Going Blind in Space”, which has been viewed more than 11 million times.


Hadfield is the co-creator and host of the internationally acclaimed BBC series Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?, as well as the co-host, with actor Will Smith, of National Geographic’s One Strange Rock, directed by Darren Aronofsky. He also produces the celebrated Rare Earth series on YouTube and is the creator of the on-stage celebration Generator, which combines science, comedy, and music.


Additionally, Hadfield is an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo and with Masterclass online, an adviser to SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, and chair of the board of the Open Lunar Foundation. His keynote presentations have been called “an astonishing display of visual storytelling” by Harvard Business Review.

Chris Hadfield
Featured Videos

Current: TED: What I learned from going blind in space

Time 18:23

More Videos From Chris Hadfield

TED: What I learned from going blind in space
Time 18:23
WIRED: 13 Moments That Changed His Life
Time 16:32
Chris Hadfield Debunks Space Myths
Time 11:33
Conan: Sandra Bullock's "Gravity" Underwear
Time 01:22

Chris Hadfield
Featured Keynote Programs

Extreme Leadership

Commanding a spaceship takes superb leadership. The vehicle is complex, the team is international, the crew is on their own and the stakes are the very highest – huge financial consequences, and perpetual life or death.

Only one Canadian has ever held that command – Colonel Chris Hadfield. Through 25 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force and 21 years with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, Chris has developed and honed leadership theories and practices that have taken him to the very top.

In his talk on Extreme Leadership, Chris outlines fundamental theories and original insights, interspersed with examples from his own experience, including:

US Navy Top Test Pilot
NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia
National Outdoor Leadership School Mentor
NASA Astronaut Chief of Space Station Operations
International Space Station Commander
With discussions of objective, preparation, simulation and focused execution, Chris takes the audience through several interactive scenarios, developing ideas that are then reinforced with memorable examples from fighter test flying and spaceflight.

Chris has been an instructor in Crew Resource Management, as well as a teacher in all phases of astronaut/groundcrew team development. He is also a three-time internationally best-selling author, and the leadership ideas in his book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth are regularly used by students and instructors around the world.

An immensely experienced teacher, speaker and leader, Chris will help your team see, learn and remember how to lead more effectively.

Managing Complexity and Change

Commanding a spaceship during an emergency has the highest of stakes: human lives, irreplaceably expensive equipment, and worldwide scrutiny. Spaceflight is an unforgiving business, with industry success riding on every launch and critical event. Colonel Chris Hadfield held multiple leadership and management positions during his 21 years in the astronaut corps, navigating tragedy, delays, program changes, and much more. Using examples from his tremendous career, he illuminates the necessity for both preparation and reaction to complex change.

The Sky Is Not The Limit
Inspiration In Success

Drawing on his experience from over two decades as an astronaut, Colonel Chris Hadfield shares multiple stories and examples that highlight the fundamental necessity of inspiration as a vital component of success.


Colonel Chris Hadfield has worked with countless students and teachers, from pre-school to post-doctoral, for decades. Speaking in schools and at education conferences throughout his 35-year-career as an engineer, pilot, and astronaut, his rare mixture of personal experience, memorable ideas, and a warm, fun, interactive style has influenced a generation. Most recently, his extensive teachings from Earth orbit, recorded on-board the International Space Station, continue to be seen by millions via YouTube.

Chris strongly believes in the necessity to give every student the tools and the inspiration to succeed. His face and accomplishments are in Canadian science textbooks, as both a role model and clear example of where STEM education can lead.

Using real-world examples from his unique experiences, he enables audiences to see beyond their normal horizons, and helps give them the tools and ideas for personal growth and achievement in learning.

Chris Hadfield
Featured Book

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earthby Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

by Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield
Featured Reviews

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