Science & Technology

Spacewalking: Space and Perspective

Chris Hadfield

Lesson time 16:15 min

What can we learn from looking down at Earth from above? Chris explains what spaceflight means for our human perspective and how we can use what we learn in space to preserve our species and planet.

Chris Hadfield
Teaches Space Exploration
In 28+ lessons, the former commander of the International Space Station teaches you the science of space exploration and what the future holds.
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MAN: On land at Houston, y'all have a great first full day on orbit. The planning folks are going to hand it over to the rendezvous pros who will start getting you ready for tomorrow. They'll be the Orbit One team, and the next voice you hear will be Chris Hadfield's. Some of you taking this course are going to fly in space. And I think you'll find when you get there, when the engines shut off, whether you mean to or not, the first thing you're going to do is laugh. It's hilarious, it's so funny, because suddenly you're weightless. It's just-- it's like if you were sitting there right now, and imagine that you now just started floating up off your chair uncontrollably, and your hair floated up and your necklace floated up, and all the things sitting around you on the table were suddenly floating on by, weightless. It's just-- it's ridiculous. Your entire life, you've counted on gravity to control everything around you, and the moment the engine's shut off, you're suddenly irreversibly weightless. And also, you've just done a very dangerous thing, and you're now there, it's for real. And so, there's this sort of a rush of emotional relief as well, and everybody in the crew, we all just sort of laugh, like, wow, that happened, we're here, we worked hard, but we're here. And then you think, what do I want to do? And you've got all these technical things to do on the ship. You've got to check for pressure leaks. You've got to stow your helmet. You need to-- you know, there's all these things that are on your checklist that you have to do next. But what you really want to do, and I'm sure what you'll want to do if you ever get yourself in that position, is unstrap yourself from your seat and try and control your-- you're like Bambi on ice, you're this new kind of clumsy being, learning the very first steps in weightlessness-- but to get yourself to a window, to see where you just came from, to see the world in a way that you've never seen it before. It's kind of the biggest point of being there, is the perspective that it gives on ourselves, and the most in-your-face, slapping kind of chance to do that is from this new, incredibly high vantage point, to float to the window and see what the world actually looks like. When you're on a spaceship you'll find that if you look closely at the glass of the windows of the spaceship, it's got nose prints all over it because people are grabbing onto the handrail, but you just can't control yourself very well at first. You'll boink, and your nose bounces off the glass and you need to clean a little bit of oil and nose prints off the glass to be able to see beautifully. But to me, that's just a reminder of where you are, how brand new this view is of the world and how incredible it is. You see everything with nobody filtering it for you. From the altitude of a spaceship, you can see halfway across a continent. From overhead Florida, you can see all the way up to Chicago, essentially. The Great Lake...

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.

I have learned new things that I didn't know before about space exploration which was awesome. What I enjoyed the most was hearing from someone who has proven that nothing is impossible when it comes to exploring new things and chasing your dreams.

It was a long Masterclass..but it was extremely interesting; the final lesson (the bonus one) was really profound and genuine;

Excellent Masterclass Chris Hadfield is wonderful at explaining the journey past and present and into the future which made me see it all clearer.

I really enjoyed this class that Chris taught because it was first, very interesting and second also gives me practical advice on dealing with life, as an entrepreneur and business leader. Thanks Chris.


Angelika K.

For me this lesson is one of the best - we have to take care for mother earth. she gives everything we need ...and we have to act wisely and responsible. we harvest what we sow....thank you for all this great lessons here!

Ewfilm E.

"We are on the same ship", well said ! I hope one day much more people will have the same vision...


It is impressive to see our mother Earth from another perspective. It is so true that being close obscures the view, therefore we need to consider our planet and ourselves, its inhabitants, from a distance. Both literally and metaphorically. I absolutely adore Chris Hadfield calm and clear way of sharing most profound thoughts.

A fellow student

Brilliant; I like Chris' view that with knowledge and willingness the planet can be saved from us!

Louis W.

This class was exceptional! With all the 50th anniversary Apollo events currently going on it was a show on Apollo 8 that really that made an impact on me. Just like this class. After the Apollo 8 mission the three astronauts were part of a talk show and each one them said basically what Chris said in this class. That crew saw the earth as it really is in the universe. A thumbnail size blue marble floating in the blackness.

Ugo A. D.

This one really stood out for me. The fact that the earth is like our mother ship. We need to take care of it and realize the impact that we have on the climate and the effect of the misuse of our resources has on everyone. Great human perspective as an astronaut.

Samir S.

This is fantastic! You said some of us in this class will fly in space. I believe that the world is changing very quickly and not a lot of people are seeing it. Talking about seeing the world as one place where all of our goals are common gives me butterflies as well as a determination to be one of those people who become an astronaut.

Hans J.

Wow, being in space is only a small part of the journey, seems you learned a “ world” of knowledge in order to leave it. Incredible words to describe speechless moments. Thank you Hans juergensen

Pedro C.

There is some thing wrong with the link for the PDF. It has not been possible for me to download it. Regarding Space and Perspective, it seems clear that a global perspective is basic, and that consciusness of our industrial, and other economic actions, have to be evaluated by all its impacts. The Space Exploration Perspective should bear in mind many different aspects. From cultural issues, to health impacts, to political and military considerations, to economic opportuniies and risks, to scientific and educational challenges. As far as the personal, individual perspective at space is regarded, it must be very challenging. As an airplane pilot and scuba diver I know how confusing it can be an environment that is not our own. At space it must be very especial. Talking with a partner at spacewalk, giving directions and position references must be so different from our every day experience. It would be especially interesting to learn about the protocols and recommendations for these referencing challenges.


My favorite part of this lesson is remembering the people that helped to get you where you are. That's very important and having that perspective is very honorable. This speaks volume of your integrity. I also enjoy the laughter when you first get there. You did it! That moment to celebrate together as a team. I just love it.