In a year when there was no shortage of things for Canadians to be embarrassed about (see here, here and here), the pride of Sarnia, Ont. made us all stand a little taller.
In 2013, Hadfield became the first Canadian to command the International Space Station and taught us everything we wanted to know about space travel but were afraid to ask.
And he garnered more than a million Twitter followers.
And he wrote a book.
Did we mention he wasn't even on this planet for almost five months?
2013 was the year Chris Hadfield won our hearts and minds, and showed the the best of Canada to the world. Here's how he did it.
Because For Weeks He Was Sending Us Tiny Perfect Postcards From Space
Tonight's Finale: The full moon rises over the only planet we have ever called home. pic.twitter.com/JWb4cbyc— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) February 18, 2013
And This One
And One More
Tonight's finale: Northern Lights - recent aurora in green and red waves, USA and Canada below, the universe above. pic.twitter.com/sgi9q0kT— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) February 11, 2013
Because He's Not Afraid To Cry
Especially when he's demonstrating an important scientific lesson...
He Stands By His Team...
With the lockout finally ending and a 50-game NHL season about to begin, I am ready to cheer from orbit. Go Leafs! pic.twitter.com/xHX55431— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 6, 2013
Even though they probably break his spaceman heart. The night he came back to Earth the Maple Leafs blew a 4-1 lead in a crucial Game 7 against the Boston Bruins.
He Shows Us The Weird Things That Happen In Space
He's An Inspiration
Cartoonist Gavin Aung Than turned some of Hadfield's advice into this beautiful cartoon. Hadfield said that he was inspired by the Apollo Missions of the 1960s and 70s. We have no doubt that a new generation of scientists and explorers will be inspired by Hadfield's example.
He Writes Eloquently About Exploration
This is Hadfield talking about international cooperation and the International Space Station.
"That example to me for any kid in the world, any kid standing on any shore line, whether it’s some comfortable place or it’s a desperate war torn place, any of those young people can look up and see a pretty good example of what people can do when they do things right, watching the space station go over."
He's A Cover Model
That's not Photoshop. Hadfield got in the make-up chair for the cover shoot.
Two Words: Space Burrito
Also... Space Money
Hadfield helped unveil the new $5 bill in space. The bill features the CanadaArm2, one of the country's most notable contributions to the space program.
He Made One Of The Best Viral Videos Of 2013
He Took The Ultimate Selfie Of 2013
If 2013 is the year of the selfie then it's tough to top this one.
Good morning! Some selfies are more thought-provoking than others. Amazing what you can see in the reflection. pic.twitter.com/Z39tadWK1W— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) September 30, 2013
Do you agree with the selection? What was your favourite Chris Hadfield moment? Tell us in the comments below.
Also on HuffPost:
"All the grains of sand in all the deserts can't compare to the number of ways I love you. #ValentineFromSpace"
"If you give wind and sand enough time together, they create art."
'The incredibly green lush wetness of the Amazon basin."
Someone Misses Starbucks
"These delicate cappuccino frosting decorations are, in fact, endless hummocks of Saharan sand."
'The Earth has problem skin; one popped, the other didn't."
It Totally Does
"Even as I took this picture I was thinking it will make a nice desktop background. And it does."
"Some fault lines are visible from space. Tectonic plates make a rift in the Andes."
"Tonight's Finale: Nature inspires awe - cloud, ice and rock in southern South America."
"Happy Alligator Lake, Mexico. I'm certain it has an official name, but that's what it looks like to me."
'Tonight's Finale: Haruna, a large and powerful tropical cyclone, wreaks clockwise destruction across Madagascar."
"This taffy-twisted African rock reminds me of a dolphin, and Alfred Hitchcock."
Freetown, Sierra Leone
"Freetown. A major west African port city, capital of Sierra Leone."
"I don't think that sand came from those rocks."
Haggis (Well, Not Really)
"This green Aussie lake somehow reminds me of a haggis."
"Glacial water burping into the Atlantic in deep Southern Argentina."
"Arid fingers of sand-blasted rock look like they're barely holding on against the hot Saharan wind."
"Mars is a very interesting planet, with its rugged, ancient surface. But this is Earth."
"Tonight's Finale: There is an undeniable beauty in human imagination. What do you see in this Saharan cloud?"
"Your perspective often dictates what you see. From here I see a puffball on an oyster half-shell. How about you?"
"Dragon skin. A bad place to take a walk, near the Horn of Africa."
"Tonight's Finale: The Himalayas to the horizon, gives me such a feeling of wild grandeur."
"Tonight's finale:You hear all about the man in the moon, but what about the man in Patagonia?"
"As I look at the verdant fjords and inlets of southern NZ, I ask myself can this possibly be real? Yet there it is."
"Where there's water, there's life. Serpentine river and center pivot irrigation farms in South Africa."
"A lot of the Australian Outback looks like somebody spilled something on it."
"Tonight's Finale: Asteroid impact - the Manicouagan Crater in Quebec. On old scar, but a big one at 100 km across."
"Split, Croatia, a fine natural harbor on the gorgeously rugged Adriatic coast."
"Cape Town, South Africa, the glinting sun highlighting the water."
"King George's Sound, Australia. Charles Darwin got off the Beagle and hosted a dance here in February, 1836."
Haruna From Feb. 21
"Eye of the Storm - Tropical Cyclone Haruna, today over Madagascar, with Canadarm2 pointing at the eye."
"Tonight's Finale: The full moon rises over the only planet we have ever called home."
"Mama Iceberg and her litter of baby ice cubes, slowly melting into the South Atlantic Ocean."
"The Outback is full of scary faces, staring up in forbidding horror."
"Tonight's finale: Northern Lights - recent aurora in green and red waves, USA and Canada below, the universe above."
"Clouds, shadows and sand, playing with my imagination."
"Earth has a bellybutton! My guess is that this perfect African circle is a meteor impact crater."
BONUS: Space Pajamas
"Weightless in my new space pajamas - made in Russia, very warm and comfy."
Next: The ISS On Twitter
<blockquote>Oil drilling draws a circuit board on the ochre landscape. pic.twitter.com/piYgOCsWYQ</blockquote>
<blockquote>Tonight's Finale: The Richat Structure. A giant gazing eye upon the Earth. pic.twitter.com/Uqv9JSh17b</blockquote>
<blockquote>An angry thunderstorm stands out against infinity. pic.twitter.com/du78qXnViK</blockquote>
<blockquote>Mt Etna, pouring heat and steam and smoke up through the snowcap. Earth never ceases to amaze. pic.twitter.com/xVjJ9oiwkW</blockquote>
<blockquote>Cloud over western Europe, rippled like water over a stone. pic.twitter.com/nlryEezlwh</blockquote>
<blockquote>Perth on the Swan to the sea, Western Australia. pic.twitter.com/MvrIuCs8eT</blockquote>
Chris Hadfield In Water
In this photo posted on Twitter by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on Jan. 7, 2013, the Greek Island of Corfu is shown. Hadfield is on a five-month visit to the space station and will become the first Canadian to take command of the giant orbiting laboratory in March. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press via NASA,Chris Hadfield)
RE-TRANS FOR HIGHER RESOLUTION - This Tuesday Jan. 8, 2013 photo provided by NASA, taken by Astronaut Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station, shows a view of the wildfire near Burrinjuck Dam in Australia. Look closely and you can see the flames from orbit. (AP Photo/NASA, Chris Hadfield)
In this photo posted on Twitter by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on Jan. 7, 2013, corn rows of sand, tightly sculpted by wind, heat and time is shown in Saudi Arabia. Hadfield is on a five-month visit to the space station and will become the first Canadian to take command of the giant orbiting laboratory in March. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press via NASA,Chris Hadfield)
In this photo posted on Twitter by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on Jan. 6, 2013, a Noctilucent Cloud, a rare super high altitude cloud barely visible from Earth, is seen at dawn in the mesosphere from International Space Station. Hadfield is on a five-month visit to the space station and will become the first Canadian to take command of the giant orbiting laboratory in March. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press via NASA,Chris Hadfield)
Newfoundland and Labrador, shot without zoom, is shown in a photo posted on Twitter by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on Jan. 7, 2013. Hadfield is on a five-month visit to the space station and will become the first Canadian to take command of the giant orbiting laboratory in March. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press via NASA,Chris Hadfield)
In this photo posted on Twitter by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on Jan. 5, 2013, the cities of Cleveland, Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit are shown. Hadfield is on a five-month visit to the space station and will become the first Canadian to take command of the giant orbiting laboratory in March. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press via NASA,Chris Hadfield) (AP Photo/The Canadian Press via NASA,Chris Hadfield)