Astronaut Chris Hadfield: In Space, There Is No Problem So Bad You Can't Make It Worse

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Chris Hadfield ISS copula

Chris Hadfield/Youtube

"What the scariest thing you've ever done?"

That's how retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield — who has faced his share of danger — opened his TED 2014 talk in Vancouver on Monday evening.

In space travel, Hadfield said, "there is no problem so bad you can't make it worse." He was referring to a popular phrase in the astronaut business. 

During liftoff, Hadfield said, "you are in the grip of something vastly more powerful than yourself." He added: "It feels like being in the jaws of an enormous dog and a foot in your back pushing you into space."

When dealing with such complicated machinery, the only thing you can do is prepare.

"Having the goal in mind directed me to thinking about all of the small details," Hadfield said. 

Last year, Hadfield, 54, spent five months on the International Space Station, including three as the first Canadian commander. Hadfield became an Internet sensation after uploading his own version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and by tweeting pictures from space.

Hadfield retired from the Canadian Space Agency last June. He's the author of "An Astronaut's Guide To Life on Earth," which discusses astronaut training, spacewalks, and preparing for disasters.

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