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"I've decided to retire from government service after 35 years of serving our country," said Hadfield, who began his career as an air cadet, progressed to military flying for entities such as NORAD, and then became an astronaut in 1992. He and two crewmates landed aboard a Russian spacecraft May 13 in Kazakhstan on their return trip from the space station.
The three-time spaceflyer said this flight was different, however, as social media allowed him to easily reach audiences on Earth. Hadfield took full advantage of the opportunity. He played several concerts from orbit, recorded more than 140 educational videos, took 45,000 pictures and conducted several press conferences and school chats. He launched Dec. 19 with 21,000 Twitter followers, and reached a million followers a few days ago