Ask astronaut Chris Hadfield your questions live

Posted by Washington Post on Monday, September 12, 2016

Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, former commander of the International Space Station and seasoned livestreamer, joined us in our New York office Monday to chat with people on Facebook Live.

Hadfield had just returned from an expedition to the Arctic — part of his ongoing efforts to explore everything the world has to offer and to share the things he learns on the way — and on Tuesday he published his first children's book, "The Darkest Dark."

The book is fairly autobiographical, recounting how a young Hadfield conquered his immense fear of the dark upon realizing it would stand in the way of his dreams of visiting space. He hopes that the book will show young children that their fears don't need to hold them back.

Hadfield thinks the world should be full of people with big, adventurous dreams. But he worries that children figure out very early that they aren't supposed to have such lofty goals.

"If you look at a young person, they start deciding what opportunities exist in life, what’s normal behavior, what people like them do and what people like them don’t do, almost instantly," he told us in an earlier interview. "When I carry my granddaughter around, she’s just watching everything like a little owl, and I can see her little brain saying, oh, this is what tables do, this is what pots do, this is what grandmas and grandpas and dogs do. She’s just internalizing what is normal and what her role in the world is going to be without anyone saying anything."

If you missed our live chat, you can check out the recording above to hear Hadfield's thoughts on aliens, his memories of David Bowie — you may have heard Hadfield sing Bowie's "Space Oddity" in actual space — and why he refuses to miss outer space.

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