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Creativity 50 2013: Chris Hadfield

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To the list of things that Canadians do better than Americans, add one more item: making astronauts for the digital age. During his 146 days on the International Space Station, the mustachioed and charmingly goofy Chris Hadfield redefined what an astronaut could be.

A social media-savvy ambassador for space, he kept his just under one million Twitter followers happy with plenty of updates and photos; played guitar with the earthbound Bare Naked Ladies; and delivered a version of a David Bowie hit that's gotten 15 million views and counting.

Mr. Hadfield's biggest achievement was to reignite interest in space travel during a time of intense budget-cutting. Astronauts who operate in the Sarnia, Ontario native's wake will 
have to ditch the stoic pose and figure out how they can relate to the people whose tax money is funding their missions. And, hey, if he can redefine the right stuff, we can forgive him for changing the words of "Space Oddity."

 

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