Astronaut Superstar Chris Hadfield Announces His Retirement

Leave your protein pills, and take your helmet off.

Commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut whose adept use of social media while floating around space on the I.S.S. made a star of him, has announced his retirement. At a press conference outside Montreal yesterday, the 53-year-old said he was keeping a promise he made to his wife to return to their native country after 30 years of living abroad.


Last month, the astronaut made the first pop video from outer space, a cover version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” It marked the close of an amazing six months for the Earth-bound among us, who marveled at the beautiful photos of our planet Hadfield took, and got to catch up with him and his colleagues in Google Hangouts.

July 3 is Hadfield’s last day in charge of the Canadian Space Agency. After that he will journey to the final frontier–Canada. Let’s hope he’s had enough of being “thrown off a cliff by a gorilla“–which is how he described a space launch.

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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.