Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has been stationed in the International Space Station since December, and since then, he's kept in close touch with those of us on the planet below with the help of social media. Today, Hadfield will return to Reddit at 4PM ET for a new "Ask me anything" session — the first he will give from space.
Those of you wishing to follow along can see questions and answers (or join in!) here: reddit.com/r/IAmA/comment…— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) February 17, 2013
Hadfield has been an eager communicator both before and during his mission on the ISS. The astronaut held a similar AMA session before he launched last year and answered more than 50 questions from the public, covering topics like loneliness, aliens, and sex in space. Following up on a promise from that AMA, he uploaded an original recording to Soundcloud and Youtube — the first recording in space. He's also been highly active on Twitter, sending out photos and inspirational aphorisms as he orbits the planet.
When asked on January 29th about his balooning popularity on Twitter, Hadfield said that "what we're doing on space station is fundamentally fascinating. The fact that now over 150,000 people are directly following what we're doing here every day, I think it's a direct measure of how important and useful this is in the human experience." Since then, Hadfield's following has doubled, with now over 380,000 followers.
When asked about his impression of the world after viewing it from space, Hadfield echoed Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell. "It's hard to reconcile the inherent patience and beauty of the world with the terrible things that we can do to each other as people and do to the Earth itself," Hadfield said. "That's part of the reason we work so hard to communicate what we're doing up here as an international team — is to try and just give people a little glimpse of that global perspective, that understanding of the fact that we're all in this together. This is a spaceship, but so is the world."