Last Friday I talked to astronaut Chris Hadfield on the phone. Live. From the International Space Station.
I’m still shocked that I had the chance to experience something so magnificent. It came as a complete surprise and I’m still buzzing with gratitude for the opportunity. This is how it all happened…
My lovely friend named Emm Gryner is one of Canada’s most talented musicians. She sings and plays bass in a new band called Trent Severn (who are unbelievably awesome – you should download their album now). My husband Darryl is Trent Severn’s live sound engineer.
And…. Astronaut Chris Hadfield is a big fan of Emm’s.
Last Friday, Trent Severn was playing a show in Goderich. I decided to tag along and hang out with Darryl in the sound booth as I sometimes do.
Darryl had told me that Chris Hadfield might be calling in live as part of the show, which I thought was very exciting. But during the sound check, we realized that there was a problem – there was no one available to answer the call from space. The band would already be playing and Darryl would be busy mixing.
“I know!” Emm said. “KB can answer the call!!”
I stood there, dumbfounded. “What???” And before I knew it, I was sitting in the sound booth, staring at THEE cell phone that Chris Hadfield would be calling in on in a matter of minutes. My job was to answer the call and entertain Chris until the right time in the show.
I’m not sure if I was very nervous or just very excited. I had a hard time paying attention to the band because my mind had gone completely out of control.
“What the heck am I going to talk to Chris Hadfield about??”
“He grew up in Milton and so did I! Maybe he knows my older sister.”
“I wonder what he eats up there.”
“How do you pack your clothes for a space mission? Do you bring a suitcase?”
“I’m glad this is not my cell phone. How much is this call going to cost???”
“I wonder if he’s ever had a Samadhi experience like Edgar Mitchell!!”
When the phone finally rang, it jumped out of my hand like a hot potato.
“Hello?????” I said.
An enthusiastic voice answered me back. “Hello! This is Chris Hadfield calling from the International Space Station!”
“Hi Chris!!!” I answered. “This is Emm’s friend, KB!”
I didn’t have time to ask him any questions but we chatted for a minute before I explained to him what the band was planning, and then I ran onstage to pass the phone to Dayna.
Thanks so much to Trent Severn for the opportunity to talk to an astronaut! It was an evening I will never forget.