Friday, 8 March 2013

outta this world...

Space has been given a whole new seat in our house.

Anyone else following our fellow Canadian, Chris Hadfield's, escapades at the International Space Station?   "Amazing" doesn't give his social outreach enough credit.  Com. Hadfield is online and in charge- tweeting (@Cmdr_Hadfield) 10+ times a day, sending down 8-10 images of the Earth in his view from space, and providing upteen educational opportunities to share with Canadian youth.  He is inspiring a nation, and bringing outer space right into our homefront.  Commander Hadfield is nothing short of a celebrity.

We have been taking this opportunity to share Chris Hadfield's images with Rowan (and Georgia).  To observe the awe on his face- the excitement he has every day when he runs in the door from school, asking: "Did Commander Hadfield send down more pictures today?  Can I see them?".  He's printed off images of space-view volcanos, Com Hadfield in his space suit, rocket launches- and brought them into school for "show & share".  His class has paper-mached planets and hung a solar system from the roof.  They built a "spaceship" out of cardboard and tin plates (and old computer monitors mounted on the inside!), and Rowan and his classmates take turns "launching" the rocket and flying through the atmosphere.  Rowan can now differentiate Hadfield's images: icebergs, clouds, ocean, desert, mountains, rock...all beautiful perspectives of the terra of our world- and he gets it.  He looks closer at the screen to discern some of the images that Hadfield describes in his photo commentary, and he constantly asks us to watch and re-watch his youtube vids depicting different aspects of life on the Space Station: nail clipping, hair cutting, hand washing, making lunch....  amazing.  And he's 4!

He can sing every word to the song "I.S.S.~ Is Someone Singing?", which Com Hadfield recorded LIVE from the International Space Station, with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies and the Scarborough Gleeks.  (check it out below- the words will inspire!)

If you are a parent, and have not yet taken advantage of this educational opportunity- I strongly encourage you to sit down with your child and show them some is one of those magical places that captures the imagination of children, and gives them licence to dream to dream, make-believe and become our next generation of astronauts.

Com. Hadfield has done (and is doing) awesome stuff up there:

Interviewed William Shatner (Captain Kirk!)
He "caught a dragon" (spaceship) with the Canadarm II (youtube this!  awesome!)
He dropped the puck (virtually, of course) at a Hockey game!
His guitar pick (and how he got his guitar on his small ship all the way to ISS is beyond me!), but his pick matches his mission patch! 
He is hosting interviews with elementary schools, high schools and communities all over Canada
He sees 16 sun rises a day (could you imagine?)
...and he's taking control (as in "Commander") of the International Space Station in less than 2 weeks.  The 1st Canadian to ever do so.

He is truly inspiring a nation.

Thank-you, Chris.  You truly are Canada's Hero.

"Canada built the Canadarm2, and the Canadarm2 built this Space Station.  We should all be proud of that".
~Chris Hadfield

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