Hadfield has “re-engaged our interest in space” and “inspired” a generation

CARDBOARD ROCK STAR  Even a cardboard cut-out of Sarnia born astronaut is enough to draw the cheers of the students of Lansdowne Public School who crowded around Chris Hadfield for a picture at a recent event at Sarnia City Hall.

CARDBOARD ROCK STAR Even a cardboard cut-out of Sarnia born astronaut is enough to draw the cheers of the students of Lansdowne Public School who crowded around Chris Hadfield for a picture at a recent event at Sarnia City Hall.

Chris Hadfield is being praised as an inspiration and reigniting our interest in space.

The Sarnia-born astronaut will return home from the International Space Station tonight and politicians and celebrities were not only admiring the work he did in space but how he connected the world.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley has great admiration for his constant communications and amazing photography during his six month mission. “The first two times he went to space, he was obviously well-known nationally but this time around, he’s a rock star.” And when Bradley talks to Canadians from around the world, they all mention Hadfield “praising Chris.”

“He’s everywhere. There is a whole generation inspired by him.”

Even CBC National News Anchor Peter Mansbridge has taken note of Hadfield’s impact on the nation. “ but his greatest contribution – re-engaging our interest in space.  No one seemed to care anymore before this trip — now a lot of people are fascinated again; especially kids,” Mansbridge wrote in an email to Sarnia This Week. “His time with schools has been perhaps the most important and for all those q and a’s he did with students he deserves all our thanks.”

Hadfield’s impact on children was on display in Sarnia recently when students of Lansdowne Public School, at City Hall for a Centennial Event, swarmed a life-sized cut-out of Hadfield to get a picture with it.

Bradley, who was there at the time, says part of that can be attributed to the fact the astronaut makes a point of mentioning his ties to Sarnia often. “He continually remembers his hometown…The key is that often communities claim a local hero; we have done that but he has also claimed us.”

And that could polish Sarnia’s image, according George Mallay of Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership. SLEP is leading a community branding process and says having someone of the stature of Hadfield linked to the city can only help improve people’s opinion of the area. “With his outstanding example of leadership and innovation and community…he sets the bar pretty,” says Mallay.

 – Heather Wright

 

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