❚ SEE HOW PLANET EARTH IS BLUE! Wow how the stars look very different today, rising in the black void! Thrill to the International Space Station whizzing over clouds in a most spectacular way! Here’s a video made by a station commander, sitting in his tin can singing the defining Bowie hit from 1969, the year man went to the Moon. What a way to inspire new generations of would-be space explorers, sung 230 miles above the earth by one of the latest successors to Major Tom.
Last night, this wondrous HD video cover version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity was posted on YouTube by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the space station, which is the largest artificial body in orbit. Viewed at full-screen, its pin-sharp photography combines poetry and awe and speed and perspective and human scale more honestly than any special-effects movie. Seeing stars rise over a black horizon fixed in their constellations itself fixes the vehicle firmly in the firmament of space, while beneath the Great Big World Keeps On Turning. This alone is a magical moment of unparalleled apprehension.
“With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here is Space Oddity, recorded on Station,” he tweeted. “A last glimpse of the World.”
Overnight his personal post has clocked a million views, quite apart from scores of other media postings. It was Hadfield’s parting act for the digital media on the eve of his return to Earth today after nearly five months in zero-gravity. And Bowie replied with the tweet “Hallo spaceboy”.
Commander Chris, a former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, was the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space. On December 19, he took off for a long-duration stay on board the ISS as part of Expedition 35. He is the first Canadian to command the space station and its six staff. And now, as the song goes, it’s time to leave the capsule …
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Video stills courtesy of Canadian Space Agency/Chris Hadfield/EMI/Mercury Records
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