On June 10, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield announced his retirement from the Canadian Space Agency and government service. His resignation takes effect July 3.
“I’ve decided to retire from government service after 35 years of serving our country,” said Hadfield.
The 53-year-old added that he did not want to be an obstacle for the two younger Canadian astronauts waiting for flights, David Saint-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen. Canada isn’t expected to have a chance to send another crewmember to the station until at least 2016.
“I didn’t say I don’t want to do this anymore, but every one of us is going to retire. This is just a natural part of the process,” said Hadfield during a Canadian Space Agency press conference.
He just returned from a five-month stint in orbit and picked up more than a million Twitter followers while commanding the International Space Station’s Expedition 35 mission. Chris Hadfield began his career as an air cadet, progressed to military flying for entities such as NORAD, and then became an astronaut in 1992.