Commander Chris Hadfield: 52, prize-winning military test pilot, driver of the Canadarm, veteran Astronaut and very soon to be commander of the International Space Station. He was also born on a farm in rural Ontario, plays guitar and sings in two all-astronaut rock bands, and has had Twitter conversations with Starfleet. From space.
You might notice that his mission crest is in the shape of a guitar pick because, awesome (as well as the mission's emphasis on science and art).
Obviously it would be harder for this guy to get much cooler, and yet he manages it, with the help of the Barenaked Ladies, a school choir and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. How? By preforming with them from the International Space Station, singing a song he co-wrote with Ed Robertson.
Yes, O best-beloveds, Commander Chris Hadfield also writes his own music. When he's not commanding a space mission, driving the Canadarm or tweeting. From space.
The song is called I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?), and premiered February 8 on the CBC. It's a sweetly geeky mashup of science and art like the mission itself, with lines like If you could see our nation; from the International Space Station; You'd know why I want to get back soon, which is perfect in it's typically quiet Canadian patriotism. (If you Commonwealthers out there are wondering why Hatfield uses Imperial instead of Metric measurements in the song, I'm fairly sure it comes down to his having likely been in high school when Canada changed to the Metric system, as well as his years working with Americans.)
It's also a beautiful piece of music in its own right, which makes me tear up every time I listen to it. Because I'm Canadian and we're all giant saps when it comes to our homeland.
Here's the song on YouTube, and a link to the music and lyrics.
This song makes me especially happy because I'm getting home as soon as Friday, visiting my family over the March break. And you can bet I'll get teary-eyed every time I hear it, doubtless to my dear sister's great amusement.