How Chris Hadfield Made Us Care About Astronauts Again
Jared Sperli stashed this in space
It was a simple 31-second clip, uploaded to YouTube in early January—a watch flopping weightlessly around its owner’s wrist, the first such video from Commander Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station. No explanation, no context, just metal links and a watch face swishing around a hairy Canadian arm like a tangled length of seaweed. This, and the dozens like it that would follow, is how Chris Hadfield became the most important astronaut in decades.
For a long time now, we haven’t cared very much about the people of Earth who live in outer space. It’s strange; you’d think we would. But somehow over the years, leaving our planet to occupy the heavens instead became ordinary. We were bored by it. And it took Chris Hadfield and a YouTube channel to remind us how very stupid that is.
In just a few months of goofy videos and Facebook updates, Hadfield, who returns to Earth today, added as much whimsy and wonderment to the idea of people going to space as we’ve had in the last thirty years combined. A gentle little nudge in the most obvious of directions, and space seems new again.
Thank you for this context about his music video:
you are most welcome