Chris A. Hadfield (Colonel, CAF)
Posted: April 15, 2001
PERSONAL DATA: Born August 29, 1959, in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and grew up in Milton, Ontario. Married to Helene Hadfield (née Walter). They have three children. He enjoys skiing, volleyball, guitar, singing, riding, writing, soccer. His parents, Roger and Eleanor Hadfield, reside near Milton. Her mother, Gwendoline Walter, resides in Victoria, B.C. Her father, Erhard Walter, is deceased.
EDUCATION: Received a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering (honours), Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, in 1982; post-graduate research at University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 1982; and a master of science degree in aviation systems, University of Tennessee, in 1992.
ORGANIZATIONS: Royal Military College Club; Society of Experimental Test Pilots; Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute; Mensa.
SPECIAL HONORS: Recipient of the 1988 Liethen-Tittle Award (given to the top pilot graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, Hadfield is the third foreign student to win the award in the history of the school); U.S. Navy Test Pilot of the Year (1991) - (for overall achievement at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, Maryland, and for work done on National Aerospace Plane propulsion, and F/A-18 out-of-control testing); awarded an honourary doctorate of engineering from the Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (1996); member of the Order of Ontario (1996); Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Trent University (1999).
EXPERIENCE: Hadfield was raised on a corn farm in southern Ontario. He taught skiing and ski racing part- and full-time for 10 years. He was an Air Cadet, and won a glider pilot scholarship at age 15, and a powered pilot scholarship at age 16. He graduated as an Ontario scholar from Milton District High School in 1977, and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in May 1978. He spent the next two years at Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, B.C., followed by two years at Royal Military College, Kingston, Ontario, from where he graduated with honors in mechanical engineering. He was top pilot at basic flying training, Portage La Prarie, Manitoba, in 1980, and was overall top graduate at Basic Jet Training, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, in 1982-1983. Fighter and CF-18 training was done in Cold Lake, Alberta, in 1984-1985. For the next three years he was with 425 Squadron, flying CF-18s for NORAD. In June 1985 Hadfield flew the first CF-18 intercept of Soviet "Bear" aircraft. He attended the USAF Test Pilot School, Edwards Air Force Base, California, Course 88A. Upon graduation he served as an exchange officer with the U. S. Navy at Strike Test Directorate, Patuxent River Naval Air Station. His accomplishments during 1989-1992 included: testing the F/A-18 and A-7 aircraft; performing research work with NASA on pitch control margin simulation and flight; the first military flight of F/A-18 enhanced performance engines; the first flight test of the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) external burning hydrogen propulsion; developing a new handling qualities rating scale for high angle-of-attack test; and the F/A-18 out-of-control recovery test program. Hadfield was selected as one of four Canadian astronauts from a field of 5,330 in June 1992.
NASA EXPERIENCE: Hadfield reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. His technical assignments have included technical and safety issues for the Astronaut Office Operations Development Branch, Shuttle glass cockpit development, and launch support at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. In November 1995 Hadfield served as a mission specialist on STS-74, NASA's second Space Shuttle mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. During the 8-day flight the crew aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully attached a permanent docking module to Mir and transferred over 2,000 pounds of food, water and scientific supplies for use by the cosmonauts. Hadfield flew as the first Canadian mission specialist, the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit, and the only Canadian to ever visit Mir. The STS-74 mission was accomplished in 129 orbits of the Earth, traveling 3.4 million miles in 196 hours, 30 minutes, 44 seconds.
Hadfield currently works as NASA's Chief CAPCOM, the voice of mission control to Shuttles in orbit, and is the Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency.
In 2001 Hadfield will fly on STS-100, International Space Station assembly Flight 6A. The primary purpose of the flight is to deliver and install the new Canadian Robot Arm (Space Station Remote Manipulator System), as well as an Italian-made resupply Logistics Module. During the flight two spacewalks are planned, which will make Hadfield the first Canadian to ever leave a spacecraft, and float free in space.