Commander Chris Hadfield tweeted a photo of Kingston this week that he snapped while in orbit on the International Space Station (left).
Hadfield, who graduated from Kingston’s Royal Military College in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, was launched into space on December 19 aboard a Soyuz spacecraft and docked with the ISS two days later.
He and two other Flight Engineers (Tom Marshburn and Roman Romanenko) were met by the three astronauts who comprised Expedition 34 on the station: Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitiskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin. That crew will leave for Earth this coming March, at which time Hadfield will become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.
Since his arrival, Commander Hadfield has been very active on Twitter, answering questions and posting photos of both inside and outside the station.
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One set of photographs included a picture of the astronauts’ stockings hung for Christmas (right), saying “Our stockings are hung by the Node 3 hatch with care, in hope that St Nicklaus has a big red spacesuit“. He also tweeted a photo of a small decorated Christmas tree on the station – hanging weightlessly from the ceiling.
Those images may have inspired one young girl to worry about how the astronauts were going to get their presents this year, prompting her mother to contact Commander Hadfield directly: “My 8yr old daughter wonders if Santa can get to you in space? Wonders how space would affect his sleigh. 🙂 ”
Seeing her question, he wrote back to say “Please tell your daughter that Christmas and Santa have magic about them, and that he found us, even here. 🙂 ”
And during the early afternoon of December 30, Hadfield posted a photo of Kingstonfrom orbit with the message “Kingston, ON in snow – how it looked from ISS today, 30 Dec at 12:40“. Following the picture of Kingston, he tweeted pictures of Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Barrie as well.
You can see more of Chris Hadfield’s photos and conversations from the International Space Station by visiting his Twitter account @Cmdr_Hadfield .