One year ago, today, Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield (@cmdr_hadfield) left Earth to live aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for six months. The journey saw Commander Hadfield become the first Canadian to command the ISS.

Little did anyone know Hadfield would become an international celebrity and ambassador for space travel and science. In fact, he may have (with the help of his son, Evan) made the space program sexy for the first time since the space shuttle Columbia took its first flight on April 12, 1981. He’s maintained that celebrity ever since and recently augmented that with the release of his amazing book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

To mark this historic day, I’ve decided to brush the cobwebs from my blog and share a few statistics about Commander Hadfield’s online celebrity. I used Sysomos MAP to gather and analyse online mentions of Chris Hadfield from December 19, 2012 through December 19, 2013.

Twitter was by far the most active platform for connecting with and spreading content issued by Chris Hadfield. Over 2.1 million tweets were issued (including his own 3,384 tweets).


Here’s an interesting fact, the average number of relevant tweets per day over the year was 5,770 (240/hour) which means Chris Hadfield’s contribution wouldn’t have filled a day in a year of his life in this particular case.


The biggest day of the year was May 13, the day after Hadfield’s YouTube video of Space Oddity went live. And the public went crazy for it, issuing 150,504 tweets about the video (which also mention his name).


Interest in Hadfield’s tweets and story was international, with people from all over the world tweeting and blogging about Hadfield and retweeting his content. Not surprisingly, Canadians accounted for the greatest portions of online activity (38.7%) followed by the US (20.5%) and the UK (16.4%).


As of 8:00amET today, Hadfield’s Space Oddity has been viewed¬†19,599,478 times (364,834 used YouTube’s “voting” tool to indicate they like the video while 4,283 registered their dislike). Incidentally, Hadfield’s tweet announcing the video is his most popular with 22,232 retweets and 10,795 favourites.


Hadfield’s second and third most-popular tweets featuring spectacular images from space (one of the many things Hadfield regularly shared) don’t add up to the popularity of the Space Oddity tweet.

131219-hadfield-tweet2 131219-hadfield-tweet3
I’ll share some more analysis over the coming days. A few interesting analysis requests have come in and I’m going to see if I can pull them off. They’ll take some time, though.