Astronauts and Chris Hadfield

Astronauts and Chris Hadfield

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Retirement is a good time for people for look back at what they have done over their lives and in their work. Some people’s careers never go beyond their own town or city. For other people, however, a job can take them far away, even beyond the earth. When Chris Hadfield retired from his career as an astronaut on July 3rd, 2013, he had a chance to look back on a long career in space. His most famous success was being the leader of the International Space Station. The education he received and the work he did in his early years all helped him to do well in his career as an astronaut.

Chris Hadfield grew up on a farm in Ontario. He became interested in flying and joined the Air Cadets at a young age. During this time, he learned to operate first gliders and then regular powered airplanes. By the time he retired, he had flown over seventy different types of planes and other aircraft.

After he finished his basic schooling, Chris Hadfield went to study at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He completed a degree in mechanical engineering there before going on to do research at the University of Waterloo. Next, he studied at the University of Tennessee and received a Master of Science. Early in his career, he became a fighter pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces. In 1983, he received an award for best pilot in the Basic Jet Training in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

In 1992, Chris Hadfield became one of four astronauts working at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He traveled into space several times and even helped to install a tool called the Canadarm onto the International Space Station. He worked with the Russian space program between 2001 and 2003 and later used his research skills to test the possibilities of underwater life at a station near the coast of Florida.

In 2012, Chris Hadfield was chosen to work as the head of the International Space Station. He worked there for five months, conducting scientific experiments in areas such as gravity’s effects on humans. All the way through, he used social media sites like Twitter to tell people on earth what he was doing. He returned to earth in May 2013 and announced his retirement a month later. His official retirement began on July 3rd, 2013.

Not all astronauts train in the same way as Chris Hadfield did, and some might never actually work in space. However, an education in one of the sciences or engineering, and also work experience, is necessary for most jobs in this field. Some knowledge of medicine is necessary since astronauts have no access to hospitals in space. Astronauts need to be in fairly good health and to be able to move to different locations for work. The pay is good, and astronauts can often have extremely varied careers. Not too mention that you get to go where few other people have ever gone before!

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