2016 Jury Member

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Location: Canada

Chris Hadfield

Astronaut, engineer, military pilot and author, Colonel Chris Hadfield has brought the marvels of science and space to millions during his three historic space flights and 2,600 orbits of Earth, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space more accessible. “Of the hundreds of astronauts who have gone into space, none has humanized it quite the way Hadfield has,” says London’s Guardian. As a nine year-old watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission, Hadfield decided he was going to become an astronaut. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces and earned an engineering degree at the Royal Military College, became a test pilot and obtained a master’s in aviation systems at the University of Tennessee Space Institute. Accomplishing many “firsts”, he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as a NASA Mission Specialist in 1992 and, three years later, aboard Shuttle Atlantis, was the first Canadian to operate the robotic Canadarm in space and the first to board a Russian spacecraft, docking with the space station Mir. In 2001, aboard Shuttle Endeavour, he performed two spacewalks ─ the first Canadian to do so ─ and, in 2013, he was the first, and to date, only, Canadian Commander of the International Space Station, where he spent five months and performed hundreds of scientific experiments. The voyage was immortalized on video when Hadfield played a rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity on his guitar in space, which has garnered 200 million viewings and prompted plans for a follow-up album. Hadfield retired after the expedition and, since then, has published two best-selling books, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth and You Are Here. Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He has also been commemorated on Canadian postage stamps, coins and on the country’s newest five-dollar bill.

Other 2016 Jury Members