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What's Next for Astronaut Chris Hadfield?

Elizabeth Howell |
With star astronaut Chris Hadfield recently back on planet Earth after five months in orbit, many are wondering what he will do next.

Will Hadfield stay with the Canadian Space Agency? Bring his outreach skills to politics or business? Or do something different altogether?

"Chris will have people knocking on his door from every single possible area of work imaginable, and I'm sure that there are already probably 1,000 requests to come and speak," said three-time space shuttle flyer Marc Garneau, who became Canada's first astronaut in space in 1984. [Astronaut Chris Hadfield's 8 Most Amazing Space Moments]

"It'll be fun, but also tough for him to make a decision," Garneau said. "I have no idea what his plans are. We are very good friends, but I've never asked. It'll be interesting to see."

Hadfield's wife Helene Hadfield, speaking from Houston on May 14 just hours after her husband's landing, told that the subject of a post-flight career didn't come up in their hours of ground-to-space phone conversations.

"We're always thinking about the next step, but really, at this point, all I know is anything Chris does is always an adventure," she said. "No matter what he does, he really likes what he's doing. It'll grow organically, but right now all he's thinking about is this mission."



'It's like asking an infant if they're ready for their Ph.D.'

Hadfield's stay on the International Space Station ­— which included commanding the Expedition 35 mission — made headlines worldwide. The astronaut, in between running a productive science mission, found time to play mini-concerts, chat with celebrities from orbit, and post hundreds of pictures on Twitter. ...more

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