Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield has given residents of Hamilton — along with Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Brantford — a whole new perspective on the place they call home in one of his photos from space.
Every day, nearly half a million twitter followers tune in to check out the dozens of photos Hadfield posts of Earth during his stay in orbit aboard the International Space Station.
Though his photos capture images from cities and landscapes across the globe, Hadfield seems to have a soft spot for Canada. He often tweets photos of cities from his home country, including anecdotes about times he's visited or lived there.
In the tweet about the photo of the Hamilton region, he points out how the bright hubs are linked in the night. In a later tweet, he mentions that he and his wife were married in Kitchener-Waterloo.
The Hamilton photo was retweeted more than 1,500 times and favourited more than 700 times.
The former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot blasted off from Kazakhstan in mid-December for a five-month stint at the International Space Station. He is slated to take command of the outpost in March — the first Canadian to do so.
For Hadfield, it’s a pinnacle of achievement that’s been 20 years in the making.
A Canadian Forces fighter pilot with a mechanical engineering degree from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., Hadfield was chosen to become one of four new Canadian astronauts in 1992.
Since then, he's flown on two NASA space shuttle flights and was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in orbit. He has done two spacewalks, and was the first Canadian to float freely in space. Training for the space station mission has consumed the past four years of his life.
While aboard the ISS on his current mission, Hadfield will be involved with more than 130 experiments, including Microflow, a Canadian blood-sampling experiment that he compared to a hospital in a box.
The crew is scheduled to spend 147 days in orbit before their scheduled return to Earth on May 14.