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Old 10-29-2017, 08:01 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 14,916
Default Astronaut Chris Hadfield sings Lightfoot

He sang EMR and SFAWN.

David Bowie ‘got it wrong’ about space says astronaut Chris Hadfield
NEWS 06:07 PM by Joanna Frketich

Colonel Chris Hadfield is famous around the world for singing Space Oddity on board the International Space Station, but in reality the astronaut says, David Bowie "got it wrong."

"Most of the artists that have portrayed space flight, like Elton John with Rocket Man or Bowie with Space Oddity, use space flight as an artistic metaphor for loneliness, but they were wrong," said Hadfield at a fundraising gala at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum Saturday night.

"To me, I've observed the loneliest people I've ever met live in the middle of cities. I've never met a lonely farmer. I don't think loneliness is a locational thing. I think loneliness is a feeling of disconnect, of not feeling like you're doing something worthwhile and not feeling like you're involved in something that has purpose. In space flight I've never felt more connected to everything else that is going on. It's busy, it's complex, there is danger, there is skill involved and magnificent wonder out the window. Bowie was a great artist but he got it wrong. It's not lonely."

Connecting here on earth was a major theme of the night as Hadfield received the Birchall Leadership Award at a gala that raised $175,000 for the museum and his alma mater the Royal Military College of Canada.

Emcee and retired CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge remarked on an astronaut "admittedly afraid of heights" winning an award named after a hero airforce pilot.
"I think everybody should be afraid of heights," replied Hadfield.

"But was it OK when you stepped out for your first spacewalk?" asked Mansbridge referring to Hadfield making history on April 22, 2001 when he became the first Canadian to perform a spacewalk.

"There is a difference between fear and danger," said Hadfield. "There was a time in my life when I felt riding a bicycle was scary but then I learned how and I got to experience the freedom of riding a bicycle … The bicycle hadn't changed and the danger hadn't changed. I changed … The greatest antidote to fear is competence … As a result when I opened the hatch and went outside for Canada's first spacewalk, I knew because of all the prep and training that I could ride this bicycle and didn't need to be afraid and I could really experience the exhilaration."

Hadfield is one of 12 people to have received the Birchall Leadership Award since 2005. It was named to honour 2364 Air Commodore Leonard J. Birchall who became known as the "Saviour of Ceylon" during the Second World War for alerting Allied forces of an approaching Japanese fleet. He was captured after sending his message and his leadership while a prisoner of war is renowned.

Hadfield spoke about leadership in the face of evil today in a speech that started out referencing the Las Vegas shooting on Oct 1 that killed 59 people. He focused particularly on the death of Canadian Jordan McIldoon and the American bartender Heather Gooze who risked her own life to stay with him while he died and broke the news to his girlfriend.

"She recognized there are moments in your life when you need to step up," he said. "When one other person's brutality draws something out of you that makes you rise above … To me that young lady — just a barmaid — is the absolute essence of leadership."

Hadfield sang Gordon Lightfoot songs, talked about sipping whisky with Sean Penn while giving him advice on how to portray a commander of a space ship going to Mars in an upcoming television show and described how he watches the space station go from "horizon to horizon" from the dock of his family's cottage.

"It's the brightest light in the sky after the sun and moon," he said. "I find it inspirational to think we could do that. We can organize ourselves as 15 countries of the world … very much peaceably to try and explore the rest of the universe."

He answered questions form Mansbridge including what's the best thing to eat in space.

"There is nothing good to eat in space," said Hadfield. "Because there is no gravity, your sinuses never drain. It's like you have a perpetual head cold for half a year so your food doesn't taste as strong. The food that had really sharp spice to it (was better) so my favourite was dehydrated shrimp cocktail because it had horseradish sauce and the horseradish just tasted great."

Hadfield made it clear he has no plans to go into politics but turned the question back on Mansbridge.

"Every single one of us, once we've taken care of the compulsories, has an absolute obligation as a citizen of this country to try to enable as many other people as possible and I feel a great responsibility to do that," he said. "But there are lots of ways to do that besides being an elected official … So I'm not going to get into politics but I wish you good luck."

What was it like to come back to earth after spending time among the stars?

"After six months weightless, suddenly you have this wicked oppression of gravity physically grinding you under its heal into the earth," said Hadfield. "You were effortlessly weightless for six months where you could just fly and float and now suddenly its like your lips have weight, you have to lift your eyelids, you have to hold your head up and you have to raise your arm."

While he says he doesn't miss orbiting earth every 19 minutes, he does wish everyone could experience it.

"If you get a chance, I really recommend you go into space."
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