“How come you’re member of the same club as astronaut Chris Hadfield, are you an astronaut?” That’s the question I received from someone in Holland. No, I am not an astronaut. Although all of us are space travellers! There is a nonprofit organization, the International Circumnavigators Club, with headquarters in New York. It was founded in 1902 by three people who’d circumnavigated the globe by ship. They were the founders of this Club which has had through the years some illustrious members. Buffalo Bill Cody, Houdini, John Philip Sousa, Sir Edmund Hilary, Thor Heyerdahl, Captain Jacques Cousteau, Picard, the baloonist, and many more.
One of the qualifications for membership is to have circumnavigated the world, crossing all meridians longitude in one direction. The early members had travelled by boat or ship. Air travel changed all that. Then when the space age began, several astronauts also became eligible and Honorary Members. Eleven years ago, I proposed astronaut Chris Hadfield for an Honorary Membership. This was accepted unanimously by the Board. Hence, Chris and I belong to the same Club.
I hope this answers your question. The Club’s constitution stipulates only 1,000 individuals can ever become members at any given time. Thus it signals the restrictions and requirements of membership. How I became a member in 1975 is another story. Maybe in the near future, we could elaborate on this some more. Here is the link to the Club’s website.