From Chris Hadfield's MasterClass

Bonus Chapter: Chris's Journey

Chris tells his personal story of becoming an astronaut and gives advice for achieving your goals—no matter where life takes you.

Topics include: Chris's Journey


Chris tells his personal story of becoming an astronaut and gives advice for achieving your goals—no matter where life takes you.

Topics include: Chris's Journey

Chris Hadfield

Teaches Space Exploration

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I was originally inspired by science fiction. Reading Asimov and reading Arthur C. Clarke, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and some of the great science fiction authors, they revealed a world that didn't exist yet. They sort of gave me as a young person the permission to imagine something that hadn't happened yet. They gave me the permission to imagine myself as someone that I hadn't yet turned myself into. And I think that's really important growing up, to give yourself room to imagine things that haven't happened yet. But I was also lucky that it wasn't all just fantasy. At the same time that I was reading all of those science fiction books, people for the very first time were starting to fly in space. With Gagarin in 1961, and then-- and then the race to the moon all culminating in the summer of '69. And just about the time that I was becoming aware of the world at nine years old, that's when Apollo 11 happened and this combination of fantasy and reality suddenly came together for this little kid living in Canada. And that's-- that's very much not only where the idea formed, but where I could resolve myself maybe to thinking that I could do that-- it wasn't just a fantasy, but if Neil and Buzz could walk on the moon-- and this had all happened just in my lifetime, then maybe I could do something like that as well. The combination of fantasy and reality gave me permission to start changing who I was. When I decided to turn myself into an astronaut, it wasn't hard, it was impossible, by definition. There were no Canadian astronauts, there was no Canadian Space Agency. There was no way from where I was to what I was dreaming of doing. But I looked at the fact that it used to be impossible to fly in space at all, and it sure was impossible to walk on the moon, and yet those things had happened. So even though it was currently impossible, what I learned from Apollo 11 was that things change, and that impossible things happen. That's a really important lesson to learn no matter what stage of life you're at, but especially at nine or 10 years old, impossible things happen. And I don't just mean like, you know, lottery tickets and lightning strikes, but I just reminded myself, well, when I was born, no one had ever flown in space, this is still a new thing. And when Neil Armstrong was born, the word astronaut didn't even exist. So things change. So let's be patient, and let's just start working on who I am. The choices that I made to become an astronaut were to go to university to study mechanical engineering, and then plan to go on to do a master's degree. Take every opportunity that ever comes. If there's a chance to ever get someone else to pay for your education, take them up on it. If someone is willing to teach you something, especially for free, get them to. Information and knowledge is just freedom to choose things. The more you know, the more free you are to make an informed choice in your life. So never miss an opportunity ...

Explore the unknown

Impossible things happen. At age nine, Chris Hadfield knew he wanted to go to space. He eventually went there three times, becoming a commander of the International Space Station. In his MasterClass, Chris teaches you what it takes to explore space and what the future holds for humans in the final frontier. Learn about the science of space travel, life as an astronaut, and how flying in space will forever change the way you think about living on Earth.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

What an incredible class. So much more than just space or being an astronaut, Chris shares how to pursue your dreams and become the person you want to

This is my 7th masterclass, by far the most inspiring! Thank you Chris. Anyone looking for inspiration should take this class.

More than a class about how to be an astronaut. This is a class about how to live life. This is by far the favorite masterclass I have taken.

This is an absolutely amazing class. All of the stuff that I am learning is going to be very valuable to me someday soon.


Dennis R.

Astonishingly good session and an amazing end to a wonderful series of talks. A copy of his book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth, just arrived in the mail yesterday. I can't wait to read it now.

Dennis C.

It is amazing how with a little twist in fate on your health; how it can derail you from your dreams.

gabe N.

This was an amazing experience watching and going through this Masterclass. I am an 18-year-old kid from Utah and I have always dreamed about flying in space and lately it's all I've been able to think about. This class has helped me to stay focused on my goals and what will truly make me happy and for that, I am very thankful. Thank you, Chris Hadfield, and thank you Masterclass.

Isabel P.

This was an extremely inspiring and very special chapter. I feel sad that it is all finished now I really enjoyed every chapter. l have learned so much and now I will watch it all again. . At my age 73, I hope that I can keep it all in. Thanks Chris .

Ugo A. D.

If God was my pilot, then Chris you would make a damn good co-pilot. Good Stuff, thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. Will go back and review them for my own interest. As a recently retired engineer looking for some challenge, I'll take in your words advice and continue to set goals. it's the journey that makes the destination interesting and worthwhile. Thanks again.

Marie H.

This has been the best class I have probably ever taken in my lifetime. It is a class I could not even have predicted I could take. I just signed up because I had such a great experience visiting an air and space museum in Virginia and wanted to learn more about how someone actually becomes an astronaut. I also have a great interest in physics and wanted to see how that applied as an astronaut. I am just a beginning student in this whole area but all that I have so far learned and what Mr. Hadfield has shared has really opened my thinking as to what I could learn more about and direct my goals towards.


Wonderful lesson and wonderful Masterclass. Thank you very much, Mr. Hadfield!

Samir S.

Absolutely incredible!!! This Masterclass has changed not only my perspective of the world but the steps in which I want to take to becoming an astronaut. I thank you greatly Chris, I will continue to find new tools in the near future to further my understanding of what it really means to be a space-ling.

A fellow student

This course was extremely interesting, explained in a very interesting and clear to understand to someone who is not a pilot or astronaut but only interested and fascinated with space exploration . Thank you Chris Hadfield for a beautiful teaching!

A fellow student

This is more than just a class. It's a way to the future for me and my family!