Pretend this was a long article summarizing the incredible outreach and education opportunities that were maximized by ISS crew member Chris Hadfield during his time as Commander. From Reddit AMA’s to videos about everyday life in space, what he has demonstrated is that science outreach is about curiosity, it’s about asking questions, and it’s about trying to find out the answers for yourself.
Sure, we’ve figured out things like gravity intuitively for ourselves, but in a new environment, where ringing out a facecloth leads to crazy results, all the answers can be different, and curiosity is something that can get rewarded even in the small details. Sometimes we forget, in the era where all the basic questions have refined and polished answers, that science starts with ignorance, and the more ignorance, the better the questions. Being in orbit, all the rules change, and the answers are no longer polished or quite what was expected. Forcing a reset on intuition and common sense reawakens curiosity.
And really, the ONLY reason we do science and ask questions is ‘Why?’ and the ‘What if?’ Commander Hadfield wraps up this amazing outreach success with a “Why Not?”