Astronaut Chris Hadfield's biggest fear? You might be surprised
Famed Canadian astronaut in Regina to meet students, speak at conference
You'd think a guy who was launched into space on a Space Shuttle with seven million pounds of thrust would be fearless.
But retired astronaut Chris Hadfield, who flew two shuttle missions, walked in space and commanded the International Space Station, told CBC's Morning Edition host Sheila Coles that there was indeed one thing that scared him as he prepared to launch.
The thing he feared most was that he wouldn't enjoy it, he said.
I was afraid that when I got to space that I wouldn't enjoy it.- Chris Hadfield, retired astronaut
"I was really afraid of it," he said. "It was a long, long, road. I decided [to be an astronaut] when I was nine and I didn't fly in space until 26 years later."
Having spent his whole life preparing for space, he felt there was a lot at stake.
"I kind of put all my eggs into that basket hoping that I would like it. I was afraid that when I got to space that I wouldn't enjoy it," he said. "I thought, 'Oh man, that would be a disappointment.'"
In fact, it was better than he dreamed, he said.
"There's a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction," he said. "And just the wonder and magic of having the whole world pouring by out your window and being weightless. It was everything this little nine-year-old boy dreamed of."
Hadfield was in Regina Friday to speak at a Canadian Humanitarian event and to meet with 700 Grade 6 students — children around the same age he was when he chose his high-flying career.
Later, Hadfield was the featured speaker at a supper-time event where CBC News asked folks:
"What do you think would be the coolest thing about being in space?" [Click on the photo gallery for some of the responses]: