Colonel Hadfield is a pioneer of many historic “firsts”. In 1992, he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as a NASA Mission Specialist—Canada’s first fully-qualified Space Shuttle crew member. Three years later, aboard Shuttle Atlantis, he was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in space, and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft as he helped build space station “Mir.” In 2001, aboard Shuttle Endeavour, Colonel Hadfield performed two spacewalks—the first Canadian to do so— and, in 2013, he was Commander of the International Space Station—the first and only Canadian to ever command a spaceship—so far.
A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield’s many awards include receiving the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. He is the author of two internationally bestselling books, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and You Are Here, and has been commemorated on Canadian postage stamps, Royal Canadian Mint coins, and on Canada’s newest five dollar bill (along with fellow astronauts Steve MacLean and Dave Williams).