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Chris Hadfield, the 53-year old Canadian astronaut returned to earth on 13 May (local time) with  two others after orbiting in space in ISS (International Space Station)  for nearly five months. Instead of just performing his routine duties in space as Commander of the ship, Hadfield has decided to engage the world during his sojourn. His tweetings and videos sent from ISS on different  space scenarios have captivated many and inspired young people in space science and outer space and beyond.

Commander Chris Hadfield arriving back to earth on 12 May 2013 after five months in ISS

Commander Chris Hadfield arriving back to earth on 12 May 2013 after five months in ISS

He showed us many tasks that we take for granted on earth that cannot be executed easily in space. One of the things that he made us aware in the weightlessness of space is that when one is sad and starts crying, the tears would not run down one’s cheeks. You can go here to see what we have learnt from him about living in space. He also shared with us on how to have fun in space here.

His desire to connect with people on earth facilitated an increase of our knowledge and the quest of man to explore space. Only through science and research can we hope to continue going beyond the perceived boundaries.

Centuries ago man could only afford to watch the moon and in 1969, man finally walked on that very moon. Incidentally Commander Hadfield became interested to become an astronaut at the age of nine after watching on television that historic Apollo landing on the moon.

Who could forget his rendition of Bowie's song "Space Oddity"? in ISS?

Who could forget his rendition of Bowie’s song “Space Oddity” in ISS?

Commander Hadfield’s rendition of David Bowie’s 1969 song, “Space Oddity” with his guitar flying about, on the day before his departure from ISS was apt and touching. I remember unconsciously urging him on so as not to lose his voice as he came to the hard part of the song requiring longer breath. He did not disappoint. That was great Commander!

While this man was inspiring the young of this planet towards man’s dream of space exploration and learn from him what quest for knowledge and tenacity mean, we in Malaysia have a man inspiring the young to protest and attend emotional public rallies and learn from him the art of divisiveness. That’s the problem when there is an overriding personal interest  and relentless politickings.

Thank you Commander Chris Hadfield, your contribution has planted more seeds of scientific learning in curious young people living in supportive environment. They will continue what you and  other space scientists, Shuttle and Soyuz astronauts have started and charted.

An Afterthought:

I cannot say much about Malaysia’s young being inspired in such scientific endeavours because many are handicapped by their poor understanding of English. And the blinking politicians have failed to appreciate the need for English in the study of Mathematics and Science by abolishing PPSMI. The current unfortunate situation is the result of a weak and non-visionary leadership. Is there any wonder BN is almost trounced in GE13?

I want to cry  in space like Chris Hadfield!


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