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Space Crooner Chris Hadfield Returns to Earth

A True Space Oddity and Inspiration to ALL -- Chris Hadfield

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, is preparing to make the return voyage to Earth after almost five months in orbit.

Hadfield, along with flight engineers American Tom Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko, have boarded a Soyuz spacecraft for the journey home. It marks the first time Hadfield will come back from space in the Russian capsule — during his previous space missions, in 1995 and 2001, he travelled aboard one of the now retired space shuttles.

"Reviewing Soyuz procedures onboard, but I wanted to thank every person at the Cdn Space Agency," Hadfield tweeted earlier today. "Your work takes Canada into orbit. Be proud."

NASA mission control relayed that hatches between the capsule and the space station were reported closed at 3:50 p.m. ET. The capsule is now on autonomous power as the astronauts work their way through a pre-departure checklist.

Bob McDonald, the host of CBC Radio's Quirks & Quarks, said the astronauts and ground control will verify that everything in the capsule and space station is airtight.

'They have to make sure all systems are tight and clear before they actually let go of the space station," he said.

At 7:08 p.m. ET -- right about the time I am posting this blog -- the Soyuz will undock from the space station.

During his time aboard the International Space Station, Hadfield has been a popular Internet figure, doing a lot on social media channels and YouTube to promote space science. From chatting on the phone with William Shatner  to posting breathtaking photos of Earth to his Twitter and Tumblr pages to explaining why you can't cry in space, Hadfield has been a constant expression of the sheer joy of being in outer space.

Hadfield is an inspiration to all of us who can only dream of going to space. Whats more he produced this poignant cover version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. He recorded the vocals and guitar while on board the International Space Station. Piano and other musical accompaniment were provided by folks down on Earth. The video itself is gorgeous, featuring some amazing shots of Earth through the windows of the space station as Hadfield sings Bowie’s famous tune.




Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on May 13, 2013