Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s first book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is soon to be an ABC sitcom. On August 19 the network announced its commitment to a pilot episode. The comedy will show an astronaut’s attempt to readjust to normal life after he returns from outer space. Surely the sitcom will be filled from some true stories and insights from the author.
Col. Chris Hadfield rose to fame using social media to document his time aboard the International Space Station. Millions of people across the globe ponder his glorious photos of earth from the space station. His outer space cover of David Bowie’s“Space Oddity” has been viewed more than 20 million times. His videos on life in space, or life without gravity, educate and entertain hundreds of thousands. He has over 1,000,000 followers on twitter and nearly 700,000 fans on Facebook. He continues to inspire people with his enthusiastic, wholesome and optimistic take on life. He is the Canadian epitome of intelligence, hard work and wit.
Hadfield was the first Canadian to command a mission on board the International Space Station. He returned in May 2013 from a five month stay on the station and was in command during the second half of the trip. The expedition was his third spaceflight. In 2001 Hadfield became the first Canadian to walk in space. His 35 year career as a military fighter pilot and astronaut have made him one of the most renowned Canadians in history. He has become a role model for millions of his countrymen as someone who used his brain and his bravery to achieve success. Acknowledging his position he says, “Young people need to be inspired by things that are right on the edge of possible – otherwise why would they push themselves.” He now uses his sense of humor to reach out to the public and share his experiences and wisdom.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth is a collection of his thoughts, anecdotes and pictures from over 20 years with NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. The book was released October 29, 2013 and became an almost instant best seller. According to Deadline.com, there was competition among networks for the rights to develop the book into a sitcom for television. ABC came out the winner and hopefully will create a winning sitcom.
Along with excitement that Chris Hadfield’s book is soon to be an ABC sitcom, there is concern that the American producers will muck up the concept. For example, fans expressed fear that they will make the astronaut American. One of the many likeable and unique things about Hadfield is his strong Canadian pride. He and his brother wrote and performed a song for Canada Day this July. Hadfield said they “set out to make the most Canadian music video ever.” Without Hadfield’s laidback gusto for life, his easy smile and his Canadian cowboy boots, fans say, the show might fall flat.
Returning to life on Earth should provide plenty of comedic moments for a sitcom. One of the scientific studies Hadfield conducted was regarding cardiovascular health on the space station and the tendency of some astronauts to have fainting spells on their return to Earth. He also has discussed the difference between floating in space and then suddenly being, “rammed down by the unrelenting oppression of gravity.” He says, “It just feels so unfair.” Hadfield has been retained as a consulting producer so the sitcom should exhibit his influence.
Hadfield retired from the Canadian Space Agency and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo where he teaches aviation. He is very excited to pass his knowledge on to the next generation. During a lecture celebrating the announcement of his position he stated, “Nothing in the future is guaranteed, but what is a guarantee is if you don’t turn yourself into the person you want to be, you zero your own chances.” Hopefully this is a sample of the wisdom and inspiration the sitcom will provide along with the laughs.
Col. Chris Hadfield’s popularity has not faded with his return to earth. He is still publishing his photos and experiences. In October 2014 his second book will be published by Little Brown and Co. You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes is a compilation of photos that reproduces an orbit around Earth. He continues to lecture and post videos. Most exciting for his fans, Chris Hadfield’s first book will soon be an ABC sitcom. Fans are hoping that An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth should prove as entertaining to watch as it is to read.
By: Rebecca Savastio