Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Space Man

Dear Col. Chris Hadfield,

I promise I wasn't following you.  I mean, it seemed like I was.  But really, you just happened to be at the top of the escalator when we got up there.  And then you just happened to walk down the same corridor that the bathrooms were at.  I just had to pee, okay.  I'm not a stalker.

Love, Rachel.

So we went to see Canadian mustachioed astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield.  He wrote a book about his experience of being an astronaut and was doing a signing in LA so Camille and I, being big fans of outer space, headed out for an adventure. I made the decision as he was speaking that I need to be his best friend so I can follow him around and he can tell me space stories all day long. 

Best parts:

1.  All the space nerds.  There were people dressed up in flight suits, you guys.  Oh, I love folks who go all out.  And it was a very thoughtful crowd.  Both considerate and kind.  And when he opened it up to questions there wasn't a dumb question among them ("So, um, what's space like?") 

2.  All the kids.  None of them are going to read his book anytime soon, but all of them have seen his awesome videos he did from space and were stoked to meet him. There was one kid who, after he shook Col. Hadfield's hand, jumped off the podium and did a fist pump.  He just met his hero!  Can you imagine being 10 and meeting your hero?  Epic.

3.  He was so poised and impressive.  Someone asked what's the best advice he could give on becoming an astronaut and he said, among other things, that you have to be the type of person NASA wants as an astronaut.  Someone smart and personable and capable.  It was obvious why NASA chose him.

4.  He started with a story of his first space walk.  You start out in an air lock and it's all cramped and hot.  And then the door opens and you're out in the universe and little meteors are pelting you. And the whole time he was speaking all I could think of was, "GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! SPACE!!!!!!!!!"

5. The last question, asked by a girl in a flight suit, was, "How did your time on the ISS change you're perspective of the world." And he said some of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.  About how in the first week up there you're looking for places you've been.  And then the week after that you're looking at how everything fits together.  And then after that you simply let the earth reveal itself to you. Which is totally what an explorer is supposed to do, right?  They leave the familiar to find new things. I'm not going to lie, I welled up a bit when he was talking.

Camille and the book, which is fascinating so far.  You guys, it's a tough road to space. 

Contrary to how it looks, this was not a lounge act. 

Blurry - but whatever.  We met an astronaut!  


Amanda said...

I'm so happy you met an astronaut!! I can't stop smiling. I have to say my favorite line in the post was about the lounge act.

Rach said...

Congrats on your amazing evening. Canadians and astronauts are meant to be combined into one fabulous person. I'm glad you got to meet him.

Rach said...

Just a side note. I read an article a few days ago about how he was heckling the movie "Gravity" and got removed from the theater. I thought it was awesome. How many people can say, "That is NOT how that really happens in space!" and be correct? Anyway, when I read it I thought of you.

Cynde said...

How wonderful! This sounds glorious! I wish we could have been there too. Would have been amazing. Ry is very jealous.