His story is inspirational – from the time he was 9 years old, before there were any Canadian astronauts, he dreamed of going into space and did everything in his power to work towards that goal. As part of that plan he joined the air cadets, completed a degree in mechanical engineering, and joined the RCAF, later becoming a test pilot. After he was selected as a Canadian astronaut in 1992 (only 4 people were chosen out of 5330 applicants) and completed extensive training, he flew on the Space Shuttle twice (in 1995 and 2001), worked as Chief of Robotics and Chief CAPCOM with NASA, and was NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia… Just to name a few achievements.
Oh, and he piloted the Soyuz spacecraft to and from the International Space Station where he lived for 5 months in 2012/2013. Basically, the guy is awesome. And his talk didn’t disappoint because, naturally, he also turns out to be a great speaker and talented musician.
He captivated the audience with some amazing footage from the International Space Station as well as footage of his launches, and spoke about looking at the earth from above. One of the most amazing things he described was being on a spacewalk outside the ISS as it passed through the Southern Lights!
After the talk, there was an opportunity for questions but unfortunately the host asked Chris a bunch of questions and time ran out before any audience members had the chance to ask anything. That was the only disappointing part, and Chris seemed disappointed too. However, the rest of the event was inspiring / compelling / engaging / impressive / gripping / intriguing, so no complaints!