Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has beamed down responses to users of a popular social media website while circling Earth on the International Space Station.
Hadfield used a laptop to field questions sent up Sunday from users of the website Reddit in the "Ask Me Anything" discussion, which drew more than 2,000 queries and comments.
He says the scariest thing he's seen in space was a large meteorite burning up in front of him, sending a "shiver up my back" as he imagined the "lump of rock" hurtling towards the station instead.
Hadfield told one user a space mutiny was not going to happen, since the shared scientific goals of the station crew "keeps mutinies to a minimum."
He says he often loses track of which way is "up" in the station, and told one terrestrial questioner that if his daughter wanted to be an astronaut she'd have to stay fit and smart by eating her greens and doing her homework.
Hadfield says his favourite thing to do in space is to "simply fly" from one end of the station to the other.
And the 53-year-old astronaut waxed poetic when asked to describe his view of space outside.
"It looks like a carpet of countless tiny perfect unblinking lights in endless velvet, with the Milky Way as a glowing area of paler texture," he replied.
Hadfield said that space privatization is "the right and natural way to go," noting that the privately developed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was due to float up and dock with the station in two weeks.
"And we'll grab it with Canadarm2," he said.
Hadfield has made a big splash on the Internet during his mission to the stratosphere.
He files several updates a day to his 381,000 Twitter followers — including many space-shot photographs of Earth — and has even recorded a song in the station with the help of his acoustic guitar.
"So bright, jewel in the night, there in my window below," Hadfield sings in the song, which was posted to YouTube.