Hadfield delves into world conflicts during news conference from space station

The Canadian Press

LONGUEUIL, Que. - Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield says everyone would benefit from seeing the world through the eyes of astronauts who are aboard the International Space Station.

During his first news conference since arriving at the giant orbiting space lab three weeks ago, the 53-year-old space veteran was asked about the conflict in Syria.

He responded that it was hard to reconcile the beauty of the world as seen from space with the terrible things that people do to each other.

Hadfield earlier tweeted a picture of the Middle Eastern country to his followers — a number that had reached more than 160,000 on Thursday.

When the prolific tweeter blasted into space on Dec. 19, he had only 20,000 followers on Twitter.

The native of Sarnia, Ont., is making this third space flight after two earlier missions.

His first space trip was in November 1995 when he visited the Russian Space Station Mir. His second voyage was a visit to the International Space Station in April 2001, when he also performed two space walks.

He adds that there's a big difference between brief space visits and living in space — and that's not having to rush everything this time around.

Hadfield is currently on a five-month visit and will become the first Canadian to take command of the space station in mid-March.