Private companies positioned 'to take advantage' of space travel, says Canadian astronaut

Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield (Ret.) said Friday that private companies such as Boeing and Tesla are in a prime position to take advantage of space travel.

"It's always been private sector that built spaceships," Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising" when asked whether governments or the private sector have better technology for space travel. "The Lunar Lander was built by [Northrop] Grumman, the Space Shuttle was built by Rockwell [International]."

"They use a huge amount of research that the government has done," he said, adding that the government has "done all of the hard work to invent the things, but now private companies are really in a position to take advantage of it like Boeing is with their Starliner, and SpaceX is with their [Crew Dragon]."

His remarks come one day after an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut made an emergency landing following the malfunction of a Russian Soyuz rocket they were using to travel to the International Space Station.

While Hadfield said technology needs to be fine-tuned to prevent those kinds of incidents, he expressed optimism for space travel and finding life beyond Earth.

"With the research we've done over the last 15 years, we started seeing planets around other stars, and we've seen thousands and thousands of them now. We basically know that every star has planets," he said. "We know there's life on Earth, and it's been here for 4 billion years steady. To think that it's the only place it could have happened seems arrogant."

-- Julia Manchester