Astronaut Chris Hadfield performs David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on the ISS

Astronaut Chris Hadfield -- the tweeting, tumbling Canadian astronaut who's a one-dude astro-ambassador from the space programme to the Internet -- has produced and released a video of his own performance of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" (AKA the "Major Tom song") on the ISS. He adapts the lyrics a bit to his own situation -- and changes out the whole dying-in-space chorous -- but is otherwise pretty faithful. From the credits, it appears that David Bowie gave permission for this, though that's not entirely clear. I would think that not even a major record label would be hamfisted and cack-handed enough to send a takedown notice over this one (it's been suggested for Boing Boing more than any other link in my memory), but I'm prepared to be surprised.

Space Oddity


  1. Well, if that whole astronaut thing ever falls through…

    Does the RIAA claim orbital jurisdiction yet?

  2. I’m not sure if he should run for government, go into acting, or perhaps start making documentaries about science that could help encourage the next generation of kids become scientists

  3. Bowie approved this on his FB-Page, there even was one Lady from his former Liveband on board, so to say:

    1. Emm Gryner, she’s playing piano on the track. She’s friends with Hadfield, they’re from the same area of Ontario. She last appeared on Boing Boing in a posting from Mark about her cover of Straight to Hell. And she wrote a song about Hadfield a while back, “Christopher” off of her album Asianblue.

  4. my only quibble is that i wish the lyric “…and there’s nothing i can do” instead said “…and there’s so much left to do” (or something similar), because, you know…. yay science, and there’s so much more to know from the space program.

  5. There’s a starman
    strumming in the skies
    he’d like us all to hear it
    but fears the suits will mind.
    There’s a staaaarman
    playing in the skies
    he asked the Man’s permission
    to televise his music mission,
    he told me:
    let the children ‘Tube it
    let the corps all lose it

  6. I think the lyric was “and there’s nothing more to do”. He’s coming home today, after all, and with that  radiator leak fixed on Saturday and the handover to Expedition 36 on Sunday there really is nothing left for Hadfield’s crew to do.

    1. yeah, i understand that. it’s certainly an emotional take on it, coming from him. he’s been so amazing. maybe none of the other astronauts were as keen on the limelight, but i wish we had a chance to know them all as well we we got to know hadfield these past few months. his videos, tweets, and photos have just been amazing.

    2. Also, he’s been Commander of the ISS, has had illustrious careers at NASA/CSA-ACS and in Canada’s Armed Forces. He’s reached the very top of his professions. At his age and with his space time, it’s unlikely he’ll see that view again. Knowing that made me tear up when this got posted last night. And the thought that Canada might be down to only 2 active astronauts soon.

      1. Top of his professions is putting it lightly.  Not sure there’s anyone else who can say they’ve commanded multiple missions (both in space and under the ocean), been in charge of both NASA and GCTC, and supported many launches and missions.  Plus 25 years of well-recognized military service. 

    1. I think more appropriately he deserves the Order of Canada. And lets toss in the Order of Ontario too :-)

    2. You generally have to have some creepy political/ religious agenda to be awarded one of those things. Unless he’s planning an invasion or running an anti-gay organization on the side, he doesn’t have a chance.

  7. I’m surprised that it’s still up and running. Any country (exept China, I tried that… YT still completely blocked on the other side of my connection there) where this vid is not working? Anyone?

  8. Has anybody run across  any “making of” that would help me understand what was “recorded in space”?  Like, the whole track in a digital audio workstation, the vocals, or just the video lip synching, or ??

  9. Wow–that made my day.  Well done, Col Hadfield!!  That said, I think Ender could probably best him in his null-grav jumps…

  10. totaly amazing what one can do in space and enjoy it,credit to them for trying to explore the cosmos and help us all understand about space and maybe one day travel to many planets

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