I Knew Chris Hadfield Before He was an Internet Sensation

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield returns home today from his 5-month stay on the International Space Station. But I knew him BEFORE he became such an internet sensation, with all his tweeting and videos and complete awesomeness during his Expedition 34/35. Although I had interviewed him several times before this picture was taken on February 24, 2011, this is the day I actually got to meet him in person. I was attending the launch of STS-133 at Kennedy Space Center, and had just come back inside the KSC press center when, there he was.

It was such a thrill to meet him, but all I can say about this picture is that it was a bad hair day for me, but a good mustache day for Chris.

Fun fact: the person who took the picture was astronaut Kent Rominger, and he was nice enough to actually take 2 pictures when he noticed my eyes were closed on the first shot. (sorry, I’m not posting that one; it’s too embarrassing.)

But here’s a great shot of the launch by my friend and photographer Alan Walters:

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