ISS astronaut — and soon to be commander — Chris Hadfield announced on Friday that he’d be conducting a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on February 17. True to his promise, Hadfield showed up and answered questions from eager minds wanting to know what it’s like to be in space. Hadfield ended up answering quite a bevy of questions, dealing with his fears in space, the dangers involved, and even giving advice to those young ones seeking to be astronauts in the future.
Hadfield says that the scariest thing that he’s seen in space so far was a large meteorite burning up in front of him, which sent a “shiver up [his] back” as he imagined the meteorite coming towards the ISS instead. That’s definitely a legit fear, since Hadfield even said that micro-meteorites hit the station at times, leaving dents and tiny holes on the exterior and the solar panels.
As for the biggest danger living in space, Hadfield says that it’s the initial launch into space where the risk is at its highest, due to “all that power and acceleration.” Once that’s over, though, Hadfield notes that it’s just a “steady threat of radiation, meteorite impacts, and vehicle system failure like fire or ammonia breakthrough.”
Hadfield even was willing to give some advice to young up-and-comers who want to be astronauts when they grow up. Hadfield’s advice? Pretty much what we expected: Eat healthy, exercise on a regular basis, be smart and do your homework, and be trustworthy. Of course, all of this is good advice for anyone, but it goes double for astronauts.
When asked how the Earth looks from space, Hadfield broke out his poetic prowess and explained the experience in as much detail as possible. He says that the world “looks like a carpet of countless tiny perfect unblinking lights in endless velvet, with the Milky Way as a glowing area of paler texture.”