In space, Chris Hadfield doesn't want to waste time on sleep
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, March 18, 2013 2:24PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 18, 2013 6:00PM EDT
LONGUEUIL, Que. -- Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield says just one thing gets him worked up on the International Space Station -- having to go to sleep.
Hadfield said Monday he's dreamed about going into space since he was a young Canadian and has worked hard to get there.
"This is a marvellous, marvellous human experience," Hadfield said in his first news conference since assuming command of the giant space station last Wednesday.
"The only thing that gets me mad is I have to sleep.
"My resolution has been to make the absolute most of it -- to spend as little time sleeping as I can."
Hadfield, 53, added that when he returns to Earth in mid-May, he will regret every minute he didn't spend looking at the world.
Only three reporters attended the video news conference which was broadcast down to the Montreal-area Canadian Space Agency and carried on its website.
Hadfield was asked about the experiments on board, spending on research and his 500,000 Twitter followers.
He was also quizzed about the importance of scientific research and about cuts in the financing of research projects.
Hadfield responded that, just like in a family, it's always necessary to strike a balance between dreams and practices -- "between what I would like to do and what I have to do every day."
"It's always difficult, it's not a decision that's left up to me," he added.
"But what I'm doing as an astronaut, it's to work as hard as possible so that every penny, every dollar that's given to the (space) agency. . it's my responsibility to fulfil that to the maximum.
Hadfield also said what's important about being followed on social media is the impact it has in schools across Canada and around the world.
He said all facets of his work on the space station -- from the science on board to the photos he's taking -- are being used to inspire people.
"I'm trying to use whatever means I can in order to just help people see themselves better and to make better decisions -- whether they are five years old or whether they're 85 years old," Hadfield said.
Hadfield is the first Canadian and 35th commander of the space station.
The only other commander who wasn't either American or Russian was Frank De Winne of Belgium, a member of the European Space Agency.
Hadfield's five-month space station visit began in late December.