Astronaut Chris Hadfield to retire from Canadian Space Agency

Hadfield ready to pursue private interests: "I'm looking forward to the next phase of life"

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield speaks at a news conference in Longueuil, Que., Monday, where he announced his plans to retire from the Canadian Space Agency. (Paul Chiasson/CP)

LONGUEUIL, Que. – Chris Hadfield is moving back to Canada after decades away from home.

The famous astronaut announced Monday that he is retiring from the Canadian Space Agency next month.

He made the announcement at a news conference at the agency headquarters, near Montreal, in his first such event in Canada since his return from space.

Hadfield has been living in the U.S. since his days as a fighter pilot in the 1980s.

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“(I’ll be) making good on a promise I made my wife nearly 30 years ago — that yes, eventually, we would be moving back to Canada,” Hadfield said.

“I’m looking forward to the next phase of life.”

He says he’s ready to pursue private interests, outside government. Hadfield says he hasn’t decided what he will do next, but says he plans to do presentations on space while reflecting over the coming year on his next move.

Hadfield gained international prominence during his recent six-month trip to the International Space Station, where he posted experiments, photographs and even a music video on social media.

He says he’s recovering his physical strength while readjusting to gravity and he expects to be back to normal by around Labour Day.

Hadfield says he’s lost up to five per cent of his bone density in some areas. On the other hand, he says, because he exercised two hours a day while in space he’s able to bench-press more than he used to.

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