May 13, 2013
Commander Chris Hadfield Covers David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’ From ISS
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
In the past five months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) Chris Hadfield, Canadian astronaut and Commander of Expedition 35, has done some pretty amazing things. Hadfield looked to social media to help promote space science, and has garnered an impressive following on Twitter and YouTube for his breathtaking photos. He has even had a conversation with William Shatner and has shown what happens when you try to wring out water in space.
Over this past weekend Hadfield was also instrumental in alerting Mission Control of a potentially dangerous ammonia leak and prepping two men on his crew for a spacewalk to troubleshoot and try to fix the problem. American astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn performed a successful extravehicular mission on Saturday to address the issue by replacing the faulty system.
Hadfield, The Canadian Space Agency´s (CSA) first astronaut to ever take command of a spaceship, has added one more impressive feat to his reign as front man of the ISS. Before departure from the ISS today, Hadfield recorded a truly awe-inspiring cover of David Bowie´s classic “Space Oddity,” which is being touted as the first-ever music recording from space.
The video was mixed with the help of the CSA and features modified lyrics that refer to the Soyuz capsule that will bring him, along with Marshburn and Roman Romanenko back to Earth on Monday. The modified lyrics include: "Ground control to Major Tom, lock your Soyuz hatch and put your helmet on."
Hadfield, who has become something of a celebrity during his time in space, also recorded a farewell video on Sunday, discussing the weekend´s ammonia leak and spacewalk mission, as well as various experiments he has been a part of during his tenure in space. In the video he congratulated the crew for their expertise while under his command and handed over control to Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, who will officially become Commander of Expedition 36 when Hadfield, Marshburn and Romanenko depart in their Soyuz capsule today.
The Soyuz capsule is expected to land in Kazakhstan with his crew late Monday at around 10:31 p.m. (local time), officially ending Hadfield´s time in space. This is likely to be Hadfield´s last mission to space, at least under the Canadian government. According to Forbes, budget cuts have forced the space agency to drop its manned mission program.
The knowledge of this is what may have inspired Hadfield to end his current mission with a tribute to David Bowie. He recorded the vocals and guitar instrumentals in space, while piano and other musical accompaniment were added by the Earthlings. The editing of the video was done with professionalism and it could almost pass off as a regular music video.
Hadfield first went into space in 1995, as part of the space shuttle expedition to dock with the Russian space station Mir. Becoming the first Canadian to enter the Russian space station was the first of many firsts for Hadfield.
While he was just another astronaut when he came aboard the ISS on December 19, 2012, Hadfield became popularized almost immediately when it was known he would become the first Canadian to take control of the orbiting lab beginning on March 13, 2013. However, it was his amazing photographs of Earth from space and his videos that really made him a household name. During his five months in orbit, Hadfield has commanded an impressive following of more than 770,000 followers on Twitter.
While Hadfield has been the man of many firsts in space, his first as a musical recording artist may also be the last. Only time will tell if we ever have another Chris Hadfield in space.