Reddit's Ask Me Anything feature is often fun because it enables regular old Redditors to talk to really cool famous people like the President of the United States or, as was the on Sunday, an astronaut orbiting the Earth. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is currently chilling out on the International Space Station, where there's probably not a whole lot to do on the weekend. So Hadfield plugged into Reddit for an AMA on Sunday evening, and the ensuing conversation is sort of adorable. On the top of Redditors' list of questions for a man in space: "What time is it?" and "How's the Internet connection up there." Short answers: Greenwhich Mean Time and slow yet amazing functional. A few other intriguing ones:
What does space smell like?
"The vacuum of space has no smell, but when we come in from a spacewalk the airlock smells like ozone, or gunpowder. It likely comes from the gentle offgassing of the outer metal and fabric of our suits."
Which part of the world looks the coolest from space?
"Australia looks coolest - the colours and textures of the Outback are severly artistic. The most beautiful to me are the Bahamas, the vast glowing reefs of every shade of blue that exists."
What's your favorite thing to do in zero gravity?
"Simply fly - to push off and glide magically to the other end of the Station. It makes me smile to myself, every time."
Got any advice for aspiring astronauts?
"Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you'd be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don't let life randomly kick you into the adult you don't want to become."
It's not a huge surprise to see Hadfield getting all media forward from the ISS. He's been lurking around on Reddit for a few weeks now, jumping into comment threads occasionally. Hadfield is also crazy about tweeting what he's seeing out his window, miles above the Earth's surface, and is currently in the process of recording the first album in space. (He already recorded the first song in space last December.) Becoming a real life Reddit alien isn't going to cure any diseases or help us understand the meaning of life like some of the other work done on the ISS. But it's still pretty damn cool. When was the last time you spent your Sunday talking to a dude in space?