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Chris Hadfield MasterClass review (2020): Is it worth it? My verdict

Note: This post contains affiliate links which means I’ll make a small commission if you purchase anything from MasterClass. However, it didn’t stop me from sharing the bad and the ugly about Chris Hadfield’s MasterClass course. 

In this review, I explain everything you need to know about Chris Hadfield’s MasterClass.

I’ll take you inside Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration and what you can expect. 

By the end of this review, you’ll know what’s great about Chris Hadfield’s Masterclass, what its weaknesses are, and whether you should enroll. 

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

Before we start: What is MasterClass?

Before we get into the review, let’s explain exactly what MasterClass is.

MasterClass is an online learning platform where the world’s most successful people teach the thing that made them successful.

MasterClass is unique for two reasons:

  1. They have the world’s most well-known instructors. Really. Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking. Natalie Portman teaches acting. Garry Kasparov teaches chess. Neil Gaiman teaches writing. They even have Serena Williams teaching tennis.
  2. They have the best video production quality of any online education platform out there.

When you enroll in MasterClass, it’s addictive. The video lessons are inspiring and entertaining.

You can binge-watch just like you’d do with Netflix.

But instead of dulling your mind with nonsense, you’re learning while being entertained.

When so many of us are spending more time at home with the coronavirus lockdowns, MasterClass is a godsend.

How much does MasterClass cost?

If you want to consume just one class, such as Chris Hadfield Teaches Space Exploration, it will set you back $90.

But MasterClass also offers an All-Access Pass that gives you unlimited access to every class for $180 per year.

Alright, so enough about what MasterClass is. Let’s talk about the course you’re interested in:

Chris Hadfield teaches space exploration

First thing, check out the video above. 

This video will give you an idea of what the videos in the course are like. 

As you can see, the quality is astounding. You’ll also get a taste of how Chris Hadfield will communicate with you. 

A look inside

Chris Hadfield’s MasterClass consists of 29 lessons and a downloadable PDF you can use to follow along with the lessons. 

The PDF is particularly useful. 

It discusses each topic in the lessons in a little more detail and gives you extra reading resources to help further your learning. 

I found reading it before listening to the lesson as most useful. 

It helped me follow the lesson much more efficiently, as well as helping me learn more. 

What you’ll learn in each lesson

The first lesson starts with introducing Chris Hadfield, explaining his history as an astronaut and former Commander of the International Space Station. 

What I found inspiring was when Chris reflects on overcoming the impossible to explore outer space. It’s a beautiful meditation on the awesomeness of the universe and discovery in general. 

You can’t help but be excited to begin this course.

2nd lesson: Astronaut training

The first real lesson talks about astronaut training.

It’s incredibly fascinating.

Let’s just put it this way: It isn’t exactly straightforward to be an astronaut. 

You have to become an expert on everything.

After all, when you’re in space, “there is no one else to ask.”

Chris talks about what’s involved in astronaut training, from leadership skills to survival skills. 

You’ll learn about training to survive emergency landings on Earth. Wherever you touch down on Earth, you have to know how to survive until rescue comes. 

Just like an astronaut on his first day, we’re barraged with fascinating information right from the get-go. 

Lessons 3 to 7: Rockets 

Straight into science.

Chris explains the functions of the basics of a rocket, the physics of launching one beyond the atmosphere, and what it feels like to start. 

After all, only a few hundred humans have ever traveled to space. Chris describes in precise detail the emotions an astronaut feels on launch day and the physical feeling of leaving Earth. 

To hear the experience of someone who has done it was really interesting. 

Chris also covers the orbital mechanics, fuels and propulsion and the price of exploration. 

In these lessons on rockets, we’re already jam-packed with lots of hard science. It’s massive, in-depth, and exhilarating. 

I’ll be honest, the science portion became a bit too much for me, but I’m sure science fans will love it. 

Lessons 9 to 12: Spaceships 

If you’re a sci-fi fan, strap your boots in. I loved this module.

Chris talks about the virtues and drawbacks of using the capsule model for human transport space. He talks about the differences in designs of the Apollo, Gemini, Lunar Lander, and Soyuz. 

He also discusses shuttles. Two-thirds of those who’ve flown into space got there on a Space Shuttle. Chris outlines the impact of reusability and how spacecrafts will evolve in the future. 

He finishes by discussing how astronauts use stars, planets, and instruments to navigate space and the process of finding the way to the International Space Station. 

A lot of these lessons were utterly novel to me, and I found it a fantastic learning experience. 

These lessons on spaceship design were unbelievable in its detail. It’s undeniable that a considerable amount of detail and planning has gone into this course. 

Lesson 13 to 15: ISS

Chris details the process of constructing the ISS and explains the idea of shared exploration. 

You also learn the many systems that work together to keep astronauts alive aboard the ISS and how they are evolving so we can fly further into space. 

He also outlines the experiments happening on board the ISS. 

Lesson 17: Training and learning

Preparing for space travel means learning massive amounts of information. In this lesson you’ll learn how Chris used a series of one-page summaries to recall complex systems and concepts on the fly during his time in space. 

When you’re an astronaut, Chris says that it’s all about learning to solve your problems in “one breath.”

This is probably my favorite lesson. No matter what your profession is, one-pagers could help all of us.

Lessons 19 to 22: Spacewalking

Chris talks about the physical and mental challenges of walking in space, describing how great support teams are on Earth and inside the spacecraft during a spacewalk. 

He also explains what spaceflight means for our human perspective and how we can use what we learn in space to preserve our species and planet. 

The way Chris talks about spacewalking and the amazement of human achievement, I almost felt like I was spacewalking myself. It was inspiring.

Lessons 24 to 27: Mars 

I found these lessons the most exciting. Space travel to Mars has been spoken about a lot, but to hear about the logistics of it from a true expert was exactly what I wanted to hear. 

Chris explains the technical and societal challenges we face on Mars, including the ideal flight path required, the physics of slowing down and landing, and the risk of human life. 

We learn about what it takes to grow food in space, protect ourselves from the elements, and readjust to gravity. He talks about the vital Sabatier process for creating hydrogen, oxygen, and methane on Mars.

He also discusses how finding life on Mars could deepen our understanding of the universe and illuminate our place within it. 

Chris discusses how the spaceships that will take us to Mars will have to be different than those that took us to the moon. 

For example, he talks about how we will develop toilets on the spaceships in the future. 

Fascinating stuff. 

Lesson 28: The future of exploration

In his parting words, Chris reflects on the cyclical nature of human exploration and Earth’s place in outer space.

I’ll be honest, this lesson almost brought a tear to my eye.

What I loved about Chris Hadfield’s MasterClass

To be honest, I was worried in the lessons on orbital mechanics that my lack of science and maths skills would be a barrier to enjoyment, but I was wrong.

Chris is a great teacher. He is a way of making complex ideas simple to understand.

I got so much more out of this course than I thought I would. 

Thanks to Chris, I have a renewed appreciation for science and what’s going on in the Stars. 

The science is easier to understand than I thought it would be

Initially, I thought I’d just enjoy the first few lessons, but once it got into the science, I’d track off.

But what’s great about the lessons is that the scientific information is paired side-by-side with inspiring talks on human nature, discovery, and life. It makes it so much more enjoyable. 

Chris also has a way of talking about the science so that everyone can understand.

There is advice you can apply to all areas of life

Some of the lessons have insights that can be useful to anyone going through hard times. When Chris talks about the dangers of pursuing the impossible (and how his friend died in a space shuttle disaster) it was emotional, inspiring, and deeply profound. 

Whatever tough challenge you’re dealing with in life, you can learn something from it. 

What’s fantastic about this course is that it isn’t just for sci-fi nerds, it really can be for anyone. 

Even if you don’t understand the science behind the engineering, you can still marvel at its complexity and find hope from human ingenuity.  No matter who you are, this will give you hope for the future. 

You’ll also have an appreciation of what a high-performing mindset looks like it. Astronauts are basically at the peak of efficiency and productivity. 

Chris is a very clear and easy-to-understand teacher

Another thing I found interesting about these lessons is that Chris takes one facet of space travel, like rockets, and breaks down the history, what the present looks like, and what might happen in the future. 

He paints such a clear picture. This keeps you engaged from beginning to end. 

I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up, but by the end of each lesson, I’d learned so much, without really realizing it. 

I found myself still being highly engaged when Chris went in-depth on a particular topic. He makes complex subjects easy to comprehend. 

My favorite lesson was about using one-pagers in your learning. Everybody, no matter what field your is, can learn from that. 

Being an astronaut is so much about how you manage information in your brain so you can access it when you need it. 

This applies to everything when it comes to learning. 

Should you buy this MasterClass?

I learned a huge amount from this MasterClass. I took many notes and lost myself in the moment due to being struck by awe.

Sometimes you just have to sit back and say, “Wow! Humans are truly incredible”.

Chris Hadfield is an excellent teacher. He talks about incredible ideas in an easy to understand fashion. His teaching and storytelling skills are probably the best I’ve encountered on MasterClass

Even if you’re only slightly interested in space travel, I think you can get a lot of out this MasterClass

You’ll be inspired by the science of human space travel and the possibilities of what can happen in the future. It gets your imagination flowing. 

You’ll learn a lot from Chris Hadfield’s mindset and challenges he’s encountered. 

If you’re going through challenging situations yourself, then I highly advise you to check this out. 

Adopting an astronaut’s type of attitude will help you in any situation. 

Now, if you’re looking to become an astronaut from this MasterClass, then that won’t happen. 

Nor will make you a rocket scientist. 

But it does do is give you a great introduction to the world of space exploration. 

And if you think that you’re not interested in space exploration, you can still learn plenty of life lessons from the great astronaut. 

While it’s true that you can find the information in the course online for free, the fact Chris teaches it – a terrific teacher and highly engaging personality – makes it all the worthwhile. 

And if you want All-Access Pass to MasterClass, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lachlan Brown

Written by Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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