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WATCH: Chris Hadfield lifts off, Edward Snowden beams in at TED Vancouver (VIDEO)

Astronaut Chris Hadfield and fugitive mass surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden wowed audiences at the first-ever TED conference in Vancouver this week.

Hadfield spoke of spider fears and space dangers in a presentation titled "What I learned from going blind in space."

Canada's most famous spaceman also played guitar, reprising his sky-high version of David Bowie's Space Oddity.

NSA whistleblower Snowden appeared via telepresence robot to speak at TED 2014 on surveillance and Internet freedom. Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee appears as a special guest on Snowden's TED Talk, titled "Here's how we take back the Internet."

Watch the videos of the TED Talks by Hadfield (above) and Snowden (below). (Mobile users can follow links instead.)

There are still plenty of TED Talks running this week in Vancouver and for the first time, locals can go to one of two dozen campuses, libraries and other sites to watch them live-streamed for free.

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