Chris Hadfield's N.L. family reflects on his time in space

Josh Pennell Josh.pennell@thetelegram.com
Published on May 21, 2013
(From left) Taylor Hadfield, brother Andrew, mom Teresa and dad Phillip check out astronaut Chris Hadfield's Twitter feed from the International Space Station. — File photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Anybody who's wondering if Chris Hadfield feels like a rock star since he came back to Earth from his time on the International Space Station might want to come up with a more grounded image for the man who has arguably become the world's most popular astronaut.

His younger brother, Phillip Hadfield, says Chris has told him he feels like an old man and is spending his time shuffling around, bumping into things and feeling dizzy. Phillip lives in Topsail with his wife, Teresa, and two sons, Andrew and Tyler.

The astronaut is at a facility in Texas becoming reacquainted with life on Earth and the gravity we live with.

He made a quick and rough trip back to the planet last week after five months in space.

Andrew Hadfield, Phillip's son, says he also has some interest in space, but if he pursued a related career it would be in astronomy. He sees himself working in the medical field right now.

When he does see his uncle again, he says there are piles of questions he'd like to ask him, but one stands out.

"How did he enjoy it up in space?" Andrew says.

Hadfield spent so much time making sure those of us bound to the planet enjoyed his time in space that perhaps this is the most thoughtful question of all.

He is famous for tweeting photos from space and posting videos about what daily tasks were like in a zero-gravity environment.

The one thing he didn't seem to enjoy up there was resting.

"He said the most annoying thing up there was sleep.

"He didn't want to sleep," says his brother.

Hadfield repeated this sentiment throughout interviews while he was on the space station, saying he hated to sleep because it meant time when he wasn't doing or observing something during his limited time off planet Earth.

By the sound of it, sleeping is something the astronaut has always lamented, regardless of where he is.

"He's just one of those guys that's always applied himself every waking moment of the day," says Phillip, who is four years Chris' junior and grew up in the same room as him.

"That's just the way he is, and he's able to recognize that and take advantage of the situation to its fullest all the way though his life."

josh.pennell@thetelegram.com

This is an updated version.