Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shatner to Hadfield: hailing frequencies open

Captain Kirk called up to space today to ask astronaut Chris Hadfield about his experience and fears as he spends five months living in the International Space Station.

“I’m in a position to say the risks are infinitely worthwhile,” Hadfield said to actor William Shatner, whom he credited for inspiring his dream of becoming an astronaut.

Hadfield went on that everybody takes risks, including Shatner, who quipped that the worst-case scenario for him doing live shows is a flushed face and a flop of sweat. “You burn up – it's a little different,” he said.

The conversation, which was streamed from the International Space Station, was broadcast live online to more than 1,000 people watching at any given point during the call.

It all began around a month ago with a couple of tweets.

“Are you tweeting from space?” Shatner asked Hadfield, who responded, “Yes, Standard Orbit, Captain. And we’re detecting signs of life on the surface.”

Hadfield, who was the first Canadian to do a space-walk, was rocketed into space on Dec. 21, and in March, he will become the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.

The conversation ended with Hadfield’s invitation to Shatner for another chat, but this time in private at his Ontario cottage over whisky and cigars, referencing Shatner’s scenes from Boston Legal.

Watch the full 13-minute interview, plus a Q&A with an audience at the Canadian Space Agency’s headquarters in Saint-Hubert, Que.

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