The skill of a great storyteller lies in their ability to recount a tale with wit, timing and just the right amount of embellishment to keep an audience on the edge of its seat.
Commander Chris Hadfield might be terrible at telling stories. We can't really be sure, because the material he has to work with is simply staggering.
On what it's like to see the curvature of the earth from space, looking out, rather than up, at the universe and being utterly alone, floating outside his space craft, tethered only by a sliver of fabric – he has the power to reignite long forgotten childhood dreams of travelling into space. That said, we get the feeling he could probably make the inside of a ping pong ball sound majestic, such is his enthusiasm.
In this week's issue of Esquire Weekly, we were lucky enough to be able to pick his brains on the merits of the Alfonso Cuaron's space epic, Gravity, which lead to him talking us through a whole range of subjects from space debris and the rigours of space walking, to how it feels to be looking back down at the Earth.
"When I looked at my hand I could I could see the white, gold creation of the space station, but it was totally dwarfed by the colourful omnipresence of the world flying by next to you. It's enormous! It's huge! It was like a whale perpetually breaching next to me. It's every colour, because I was going eight kilometres a second across the world. I could see entire continents. I looked over and was able to see from one side of Africa to the other as it passed by me."
For the full interview by Matt Allen (and to find out what his verdict on Gravity is) download the new issue of Esquire Weekly today.