From Chris Hadfield's MasterClass

Spacewalking: Space and Perspective

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.

Topics include: Make Decisions With a Global Perspective • Use Data to Heal and Protect the Earth • What Does It All Mean?


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.

Topics include: Make Decisions With a Global Perspective • Use Data to Heal and Protect the Earth • What Does It All Mean?

Chris Hadfield

Teaches Space Exploration

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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.

The great class! Enjoyed every minute of it - please, invite more such passionate and authentic guests!

Now I know a bit more about space exploration. This class is just brilliant! Bravo, Chris!

Well balanced technical information and general knowledge. Love it!

Chris Hadfield is very well spoken and is very knowledgable. He is also excellent at explaining complex subjects at a beginners level.


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.

Terry W.

I liked that reflection on finally arriving and being weightless - thinking back to all the people who were part of the journey to the point where you are just there, in that moment. Arrival must be awesome! Perspective IS everything! :) I also liked the idea that we are all part of the crew of the spaceship Earth (there are no passengers with free rides). WE are here with finite resources that we need to manage together, and that our individual actions, as with the crew in space, are responsible to each other for our mutual mission success.

Caio M.

I love how C. Hadfield always goes beyond the main theme. This course is not only about Space Exploration, it is about sharing a new perspective above the world, the Universe and, most importantly, ourselves. Space Exploration demands Science, Technology and Humanity all together.

Bautista Q.

I've seen so many people act like they care about the environment, but when the actual positive impact requires considerable habit change (eg: eating less or no meat), they dont care about it anymore, this is what we have to work on.

Warren D.

All of the ideas that Chris expresses about a global perspective is so important to hear and understand. We need to pay attention to how rapidly things are changing, whether population growth, losing different species, climate change, overuse or depletion of natural resources, etc. His explanations provide us with information that we must be mindful of and recognize our responsibilities to a global community, not just our national community.

Vickie R.

Very good lesson. And I decided that if I DID have the opportunity to go into space I would have to bring my 1970s disco ball lamp and my Twister game which I so loved. Actually it does sound kind of remarkable? Must research this more. Maybe will write an article on a novice single woman going into space for the first time and she is a complete outsider and doesn't fit in with all the other brave souls??? Could be a Hollywood hit?? Ja odor Nein? Loved the class. Don't think I ever finished a class so quickly? Also going to start buying more books on space travel and watch movies related to space travel. But I still think "The Right Stuff" was the best movie ever made on astronauts and fighter pilots. And lastly, RIP Elan Ramon. I still have your photo on my piano!!!!