In the latest episode of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast astronaut Chris Hadfield discusses his love of science fiction.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield is the first Canadian to walk in space, and also the first Canadian to command the International Space Station. A YouTube video of him singing the David Bowie song “Space Oddity” in zero-g has been viewed almost 20 million times. He’s also the author of the bestselling new memoir An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. But before all that, he was just a kid reading science fiction.
“I read it all kind of voraciously,” Hadfield says in Episode 100 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “Just letting those good writers help my imagination stretch and soar.”
Early pulp adventures taught him that desperate astronauts might achieve vectored thrust by venting their water tanks into space, an idea he kept in the back of his mind on his own missions. And he’s always delighted when film and television portrayals capture the reality of space travel, such as the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey when an astronaut goes on a space walk.
“In 2001 they guessed right,” says Hadfield. “They did an accurate portrayal of the sense of aloneness, and the sounds, and what it would really be like. And it helped it be slightly more familiar.”
Listen to our complete interview with Chris Hadfield in Episode 100 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above), in which he discusses why Gravity needed more adult diapers, why the dinosaurs should’ve had a space program, and what to do if you ever find a snake in your cockpit. Then stick around after the interview as frequent guest geek Matt London joins hosts John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley to celebrate 100 episodes of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.