Last week, Canadian news outlets reported that a flight suit belonging to Chris Hadfield, much beloved Canadian astronaut and former commander of the International Space Station, had been purchased in a Toronto thrift store for $40. It was spotted and scooped up by Julielynn Wong, a physicist and science communicator who says she brings the suit to educational lectures for children.
Hadfield, who's known for the impressive level of public engagement he undertook while serving as commander of ISS -- which ranged from taking over 45,000 pictures to creating YouTube videos about life in space (and covering David Bowie songs, too) -- confirmed that the suit is the one he wore on the back cover of his book, "An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth," in Facebook messages with Wong. So the suit hasn't been up in space, but it's definitely got some sentimental value.
Now we know how it ended up on sale at a thrift shop: In a comment on a Reddit thread about the suit's mysterious appearance in the shop, Hadfield's son posited that the family had donated the wrong box to charity during a move. The suit was supposed to be loaned to a science center along with other memorabilia.
"We're not even sure which box it was that got donated," Evan Hadfield wrote. That's understandable: The 2013 move from Texas to Toronto happened just after Hadfield's return from ISS and retirement from the Canadian Space Agency. It had been over two decades since the astronaut had lived in his home country -- he'd spent the time training in Russia and the United States, and, of course, traveling to space.
But as a die-hard Hadfield fangirl, I have one question: What other space memorabilia was in that box, and what Toronto thrift store do I need to go to if I want to find it?