On December 21, 2012, a Sarnia, Ontario man changed the way the world looked at space. Chris Hadfield, or @Cmdr_Hadfield as he’s known to over 400,000 followers on Twitter, has spent the last three months sharing pictures, stories and songs from the International Space Station. He is forever changing the way we communicate with astronauts.
Chris Hadfield has taken the power of social media and engaged hundreds of thousands of people in space exploration – using platforms such as Reddit (Ask Me Anything), Google+, Twitter and YouTube to share his message of science, and living life 400 kilometres high above the earth’s atmosphere.
From day one of Chris’ space exploration; we have seen how magnificent the world looks from above in 140 characters… coupled with brilliant photos allowing us to see the Himalayan Mountains, Tiananmen Square and the Manicouagan Crater – one of earths oldest impact craters from a viewpoint never seen before outside of documentaries or space travel itself.
I don’t know about you, but this is where I feel the heart of social media lies – in positive and educational messaging. Hosting Tweet-Ups and chatting with William Shatner, or talking with elementary school students about the marvels of zero gravity – Chris Hadfield welcomes every question and speaks honestly from the heart about reaching your goals and dreams.
There is great potential to utilize social platforms for educational purposes. I myself know, that despite years and years of loving, reading, and watching documentaries on the Cosmos – I have learned more about the simple beauty of the planet that surrounds me – and I can’t help but wonder: if Newton or Galileo had social media in their time, how different would the world be?
What would Galileo have tweeted on discovering the phases of Venus?