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Quotable astronaut Chris Hadfield inspires stellar art

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A panel from a comic strip inspired by the words of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. (Gavin Aung Than/Zen Pencils)

Chris Hadfield may be living in space, far away from his fellow earthlings, but the Ontario-born astronaut has not forgotten to write home.

Hadfield, soon to be the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station, has attracted a robust online following with his steady flow of well-crafted and strikingly beautiful posts on social media sites like Twitter.

Adding to his popularity is his well-documented eloquence. Many of his tweets, for example, have had a literary quality to them.

One earthling recently inspired by Hadfield's words is Australian artist Gavin Aung Than, whose comic strip "An astronaut's advice" was based on Hadfield's response to a question on Reddit.

The comic begins with a young Hadfield, sitting in front of the television watching Neil Armstrong's iconic moon landing. young-hadfield.jpg

In bright, detailed panels, Than features Hadfield pushing toward his goal at every stage of his life.

"A youngster asked if Hadfield had any advice for an aspiring astronaut, and this quote was his reply," the artist said of the words featured in his comic.

'Every decision you make ... turns you into who you are'

-- Chris Hadfield
The full quote reads: "Decide in your heart what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow and the day after that."


"Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you'd be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in.

"Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become."

His full strip has been shared thousands of times since Hadfield himself re-tweeted the cartoon. The astronaut gushed that that it was a cute surprise to see his thoughts turned into something so nice.

His nod to the artist's comic site Zen Pencils was soon trending across the country. The number of unique visitors even managed to crash Than's website for a while.

Canada's lyrical astronaut

Than's comic had us thinking about other times Hadfield has impressed with his words. This writer, for instance, was rather stunned by his response to her question: can you describe what it was like to walk in space?

Without missing a beat, Hadfield spoke of letting go of the space shuttle to coexist with the universe.

"You realize you are in between the bottomless, empty blackness of the universe -- that just goes on forever on one side -- and the mesmerizing, roaring colours and textures of the world ripping by next to you on the other side," he said our 2011 interview.

"And it is just achingly beautiful. It is stupendously mind-stoppingly beautiful."

Listen to Hadfield's full description of a space walk below
And in case there was any doubt about how lyrical Hadfield can truly be, the astronaut recently collaborated with Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson to write a song about living in space:

"So sing your song. I'm listening. Out where stars are glistening. I can hear your voices bouncing off the moon."

"If you could see our nation from the International Space Station, you'd know why I want to get back soon."

You can watch the CBC Music produced song below.

Canadian artist Patrick LaMontagne ‏was also recently inspired by the astronaut and his song from space.

The Alberta native painted a portrait of him and
posted it online on Saturday.

"Hadfield seems to have that charismatic personality that so few possess, able to speak to world leaders and grade school children in a way that puts both at ease and allows them to understand what he's saying, while still being the same guy with both audiences," he wrote. 


LaMontagne was also personally thanked by Hadfield, who certainly does seem to be keeping a close eye on the latest events on Earth.

Have you been following Hadfield's latest mission in space online? Have his constant updates made you feel closer to the cosmos?

Tags: Canada, space, World

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