From high above Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is broadcasting a message of peace for the people of Earth, with a little help from 200,000 Twitter fans. The three-time spaceflyer, a flight engineer and prolific Twitter user on the International Space Station, spoke solemnly Thursday (Jan. 10) about a picture he recently took of war-torn Syria. The picture had special poignancy given that the Earth appears as "one place" from orbit, Hadfield told reporters in a press conference at the Canadian Space Agency's headquarters near Montreal, Quebec.
"When we do look down on a place that is in great turmoil or strife, it's hard to reconcile the inherent patience and beauty of the world with the terrible things that we can do to each other as people, and can do to the Earth itself, locally," Hadfield said from space.
Hadfield, 53, spent his first three weeks in orbit sending dozens of pictures of his view on Earth. That, plus a Twitter chat with Star Trek actor William Shatner and other celebrities, propelled his social media account @Cmdr_Hadfield on to the world stageafter his launch Dec. 19, 2012.
"That’s probably the reason we work so hard to communicate what we’re doing up here, as an international team
"Living on station for long periods of time allows people not to rush, and to savour the experience a bit more than during jam-packed shuttle missions."
"[I am] able to have a measured, thoughtful existence to absorb what it is like," he said"