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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Heard

Every Atheist Needs: An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth

If you don’t remember the time Chris Hadfield spent on the International Space Station, you had to either have had your head bent in prayer or you were binge watching Lost, for which you are forgiven. That ending tho…

Hadfield, my fellow Canadian, single-handedly revived our fascination with space as we waited every day for his next photo of Earth from the cupola of the Space Station. We watched for our city or town and were blown away by how small everything looked in every single shot. He tried to explain to us, what it was like to see everyone all at once, and to see our Earth so far below him. We watched him in awe of his obvious passion and his ceaseless positivity. Some of us may have also followed him for that rockin’ ‘stache. Whatever the case is, Hadfield went to space with two missions: One was to complete his professional obligations and get all sciency up there, and two, was to remind us how incredible the Universe is and how small we are and how precious life is. He succeeded with flying colours in both.

In his time on the Station, he did his work, engaged in social media so well it put all the gurus to shame, gave interviews, made videos, performed music, was a better parent than so many back here on Earth, and took breathtaking photos. This man came back down from space after all of that, and chilled in Russia for a while, showing off his perfect Russian, before he came home to Canada and wrote a goddamned book (no holy).

This, in particular, makes my normally-not-into-patriotism heart swell with maple fucking syrup:

So, you know, in case you were wondering if there was anything Hadfield can’t do, the answer is no. No, there is nothing.

His book, An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth, gives us glimpses into this man’s anything-but-boring life. We follow his career, the years of training and moving to different cities and different job titles and interviews and application processes. It took him many years, and backbreaking work to finally be able to call himself an astronaut. From there he logged over 4000 hours in space and come back down to us with a whole new outlook on life.

Ultimately, that is what this book is about. It’s meant, in every way, to be an inspiration to the reader. To leave you feeling that anything is possible and that our Universe is amazing. It’s cheerful but not cheesy, it’s inspiring but not cliche. His ability to construct a story with the written word is just like any of his other skills: mastered.

This man is one of a handful, who has truly seen us all as one. He looked down on our Pale Blue Dot, and saw everything except borders. This experience coupled with his life of accomplishing the near impossible, makes his ideas invaluable.

I’d say he is a Canadian treasure, but I think it’s more accurate to say he’s an Earthly treasure, because he’s all of ours.

Grab his book, read it, and be inspired to conquer your impossible thing.


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