Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield spent the day Thursday in Grande Prairie speaking both to grade six students and community and business leaders at the Growing the North Conference.

The former commander of the International Space Station has spent the last 21 years touring the country and speaking about his experiences, something he believes is his duty.

“I’m one of the very few Canadians that is trusted to go and do something like live on a space station or fly a rocket ship, and so I just saw it as a great necessity – a real obligation and responsibility of my job – to go and talk about it.”

Hadfield argues that while much can be learned from his space travels, more will come from the inspiration it gives others.

“I definitely pursued the life that I did because I was inspired by some trips that people had made, pushing back the edge of what’s capable in human knowledge. I pursued a whole life of research and development and exploration as a result, and I have seen direct evidence of other people making different decisions with their life as a result.”