Astronaut Chris Hadfield gained YouTube fame for his recording of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” while aboard the International Space Station.
Now he describes the careful planning he used to become the space station’s commander—the forward thinking summed up in this mantra for pilots: “What’s the next thing that’s going to kill me?”
As Hadfield tells it, his crew once seized on his musical fame to snag a meeting with pop star Elton John. Before the meeting took place, Hadfield asked himself what was the worst thing that could possibly happen.
Answer: Getting called up onstage and asked to play “Rocket Man.” Hadfield immediately began learning the song on his guitar.
As it turned out, the astronaut and his crew did get to meet Elton John. He never did have to play “Rocket Man.” But he was prepared.