Astronaut Chris Hadfield wants Canadians to submit ideas for NASA poster

Imagine an official NASA space poster with group of astronauts decked out in Canadian and Russian hockey uniforms. That’s one of the suggestions Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has received so far from his followers on the Internet.

The NASA space poster "Expedition 26"  featuring knock-off of the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover

The NASA space poster "Expedition 26" featuring knock-off of the Beatles' Abbey Road album cover

MONTREAL — Imagine an official NASA space poster with group of astronauts decked out in Canadian and Russian hockey uniforms.

That’s one of the suggestions Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has received so far from his followers on the Internet.

For the past few weeks, Hadfield has been using Twitter and Facebook to get ideas for a poster for Expedition 35 — his upcoming long-duration mission to the International Space Station.

Hadfield will become the first Canadian commander to take charge of the space station during his six-month stay, which begins late next year.

The 51-year-old space veteran promises his poster won’t be a boring one showing astronauts just standing around in their space suits and helmets in their hands.

“We used to just do a very traditional-looking crew photograph, but somebody said: ’Why not make it more interesting?”’ Hadfield recently told The Canadian Press.

Several years ago, NASA decided it was a great idea.

Among the final products was one poster with the crew of Expedition 21, including Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk, outfitted in Star Trek uniforms. Thirsk spent six months on the space station in 2009.

The most recent eye-catching placard is of the crew of Expedition 26, who are currently on board the giant orbiting space laboratory.

They re-created the Beatles’ famous Abbey Road album cover — right down to the minor details which includes one of the astronauts walking barefoot a la Paul McCartney.

Hadfield says he’s already received a few dozen ideas for his space poster project. The suggestions range from album covers by Canadian artists Rush and Bachman-Turner Overdrive to the greatest moments in hockey history.

“Someone suggested the 1972 hockey series between Canada and Russia, so I started looking at the hockey series posters where they show a lot of well-known faces,” he said.

“That would be fun to do, (but) I don’t know if I could talk the rest of the crew into that.”

Hadfield might get support for a hockey poster from Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn.

They will be with him when he travels to the space station aboard a Russian Soyuz in late 2012.

Hadfield says comic books might also provide inspiration for a poster of his crew, which will include three other astronauts.

“Because there are often teams in comic books, the Justice League of America, the Avengers or something where you get a lot of faces,” he said, adding that the final choice will be made by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency.

“The idea of course, is you need to have both vivid imagery plus the faces of the crew.”

Hadfield, who made his comments while training at Star City, near Moscow, says he already has about 1,000 followers on Twitter and about 600 Facebook friends.

He credits his two sons, Evan, 25 who lives in Germany, and Kyle, 27, who’s in China, with pushing him into setting up his two social network websites.

Hadfield says they pointed out to him during a family Christmas get-together in 2009 that they rely on the Internet to find out what’s going on.

Then, when his next space mission was announced in early September 2010 in the mainstream media, they got on his case again and decided to set things up themselves.

The Canadian astronaut, who has been in space twice before, also has a daughter Kristin, 24, who is studying at Trinity University in Dublin.

Hadfield says he expects to continue to use both Twitter and Facebook during his six-month stay on the space station.

“It’s an amazing human adventure and the more people that can access it and look at parts of it that are interesting for them, the better,” he said.

On the web:

Cmdr—Hadfield on Twitter

Col. Chris Hadfield on Facebook

Details of Hadfield’s mission are also available on the Canadian Space Agency’s website, which includes a Facebook account in both languages, a YouTube channel and an RSS feed.

http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/