Chris was born in Sarnia, Ontario and attended high school in Milton Ontario, near Toronto. He earned an engineering degree from Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. He trained as a pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces and was top graduate in his Jet Training class in 1983. After flying CF-18 fighter jets for NORAD for three years, he attended the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, in California. His work then turned to research and test as an exchange officer at Strike Test Directorate with the U. S. Navy. In 1993, Chris successfully competed with more than 5300 applicants to join the space program, and was assigned to NASA Johnson Space Center For 25 shuttle missions, Chris was "the voice of mission control," the Chief CAPCOM for NASA.
For his first shuttle mission in 1995, Chris was Mission Specialist #1 on the Atlantis, operating the Canadarm for NASA's second space shuttle mission to rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir. On his next mission, as Mission Specialist on the Endeavour in 2001, Chris spent 14 hours, 54 minutes outside the craft on the first spacewalk for a Canadian. On this mission, the crew used the Canadarm2 robotic arm to support assembly of the new International Space Station.
Chris Hadfield is currently NASA's Director of Operations at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.
See also: Canadian space program.