Space Oddity in Space


Will Bellamy, Music Columnist

Pioneers in music have done many things in the last ten years to further music from it’s roots.  Some things have been for the better, some not as much.  But you know what we haven’t had?  A music video in space.  Fret no more!  Commander Chris Hadfield on May 12th, 2013 uploaded a new video on his youtube channel of him singing David Bowie’s Space Oddity from the ISS (International Space Station).  The symbolism of this is impeccable: a man in space sings about a man in space.

Throughout Hadfield’s journey on the International Space Station, he has constantly been connected with his admirers back home.  He posted on his facebook page almost daily, as well as uploading pictures from space of famous locations around the world.  Inevitably, Hadfield is an inspirational figure.  And when he released his goodbye song,  I know I was jittery with excitement.  This guy is truly awesome.

In the music video, Hadfield looks pensively at Earth, singing: “Ground control to Major Tom.”  He then continues to strum Bowie’s famous guitar riff (while floating), surrounded by computers and electronics galore.  The video was edited by his son, Evan Hadfield, who put it together quite beautifully.  Lights shine through windows onto Hadfield in an angelic way.  A guitar soars through zero gravity across the spacecraft.  Time lapses of the spinning earth.  And after being the guy running the whole International Space Station, Hadfield still has a beautiful voice.  The astronaut changes Bowie’s lyrics to make it that Major Tom returns home instead of cutting himself off from Earth and staying afloat in outer space, to die.  He sings, “Lock your Soyuz hatch and put your helmet on”, the “Soyuz” being the name of the spacecraft he was on. The video is something that is awe-inspiring and impossible to explain:  you have to just look at it yourself.  It has 14 million views and counting, more than Bowie’s original song.

On May 13th, 2013, he left the ISS.  He left his world and gave our world beautiful visuals of the place he’s been living in for the past 5 months.  There is a strong sense of closure in Hadfield’s rendition of Bowie’s classic hit:  the astronaut was ready to go home.

To watch the video, click on