Chris Hadfield To Retire From Canadian Space Agency [Video]

Chris Hadfield is retiring from the space program.

The astronaut announced Monday, June 10 that he will retire from the space program next month and move back to his homeland, Canada after decades of being away.

The International Space Station Commander announced his plans to retire at a news conference held at the Canadian Space Agency’s Headquarters near Montreal – his first appearance at an event of this kind since returning to Earth after his last voyage on the ISS.

“(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,” said Hadfield.

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

The 53-year-old former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot says he hasn’t decided exactly what he’ll be up to now that he had decided to retire, but he does plan on giving presentations on space, featuring images and videos taken on his expeditions.

Commander Hadfield’s engagement with social media — especially Twitter — brought him international acclaim as the world waited and watched for his picturesque tweets from above.

During his last mission aboard the ISS, Hadfield recorded his own version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. A definite highlight of his trip.

Hadfield has been recovering since his arrival back from the ISS on May 13, and says he expects to be back to normal by Labour Day. Though he has lost up to five percent of his bone density in some areas, his daily two-hour workouts on the ISS mean that he can actually bench-press more than he used to. However, he explained that because he knows of others who have struggled with adjusting to life post-space program, he will absolutely be taking it easy during the next year, and hopes to have a better idea of what life after retirement holds for him at that time.

Within hours of announcing his plans to retire, Twitter was abuzz with fans congratulating and thanking him for the impact he has had on our lives.

Some are crossing their fingers that the astronaut will turn to politics in the future.

Watch Hadfield perform Space Oddity below:

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Are you surprised to hear that Chris Hadfield is retiring?

[Images via Twitter]