First Music Video From Space? Astronaut Chris Hadfield Sings ‘Space Oddity’

David Bowie Space Oddity

David Bowie song is sung by Canadian astronaut from International Space Station

International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield was already becoming an Internet sensation with his 770,000 Twitter followers and videos of him strumming a guitar and cooking spinach in space. But now the Canadian astronaut has topped those short performances with a competently-sung rendition of David Bowie’s songSpace Oddity.” The performance of the classically spacey song while actually floating in space “wins the Internet” as some commenters have suggested. Hadfield plays his acoustic guitar alongside shots of the station zooming over earth in the video which the staff of the Canadian Space Agency helped mix. Hadfield handed over the station’s command on Sunday to Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov.

Apparently Bowie approves of Hadfield’s version, as he posted the video and the collage seen above on his Facebook fan page with a shoutout to Canadian musician Emm Gryner, who has played with his band and helped produce the version sent from space.


Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 98

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Rob says:

    To all that were offended by the making of this video, FYI, it was not done for you. It was created for the people that appreciate the beauty of space put to music. It was done for me! There’s nothing you can do to change that. NOT EVEN CAPS! Ha!
    Well done!

  2. Linda says:

    Bud, thank you for your words. I sometime really can’t believe what people think it is ok to write on the web. Every single person that goes into space risks their life in order to advance science. They are heroes. I’d like to see one of you, criticizing, sanctimonious jerks risk your life as they do. Shame on you. And, yes, it was an awesome video. Thanks you for it.

  3. Cary Bell says:

    To the person who complained Chris Hadfield was wasting time with this video, he happens to be wrapping up almost 6 months in space – Hadfield conducted more than 130 experiments during his 146 days aboard … That happens to be a record amount of experiments by one astronaut during one stint on the space station. Is that enough work to allow the guy to wrap up his time in space with a song? It’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen since the moon landing.
    Way to go Chris!

  4. Pat says:

    Pat says I always loved David Bowie good job

  5. KAtie says:


  6. Troy Webber says:

    I love his awesome moustache.

  7. Carl Duke says:


  8. John says:

    This is one case where the “Special” effects ARE TRUELY SPECIAL

  9. Kurt M. says:

    He should be arrested like that woman from that American Airlines flight singing Whitney Houston songs. besides, probably costs $10K to take that guitar into space.

  10. desertgypsygirl says:

    OMG!!! I loved it!!!! I got teary-eyed when I first heard David Bowie sing it, and I got teary-eyed listening to Chris Hadfield.

  11. but-seriously-folks says:

    Very cool video. During the Gemini program, astronaut Wally Schirra played “Jingle Bells” on a harmonica that he had smuggled on board, but there was no slick production to go with it.

  12. Michael G. Mehlmauer says:

    Wow! what a great song and video. Thanks for making my day.

  13. o solo mio says:

    im sure the cosmos is looking forward to what we will bring

  14. KRWoit says:

    I bet there hasn’t been a single astronaut in space that hasn’t at least hummed that song. But Chris is surely the only one who could pull it off with such style and sincerity Brilliant!

  15. Jerry Nobles says:

    If EVER the word cool was appropriate, it must apply here!!

  16. Mary Anne Huff says:

    I watched this this morning and while I love David Bowie, seeing this sung clearly, no big music background but watching the world go by the lyrics are truly “poetry in motion”. Thanks for this since it made an old woman (moi) realize that Heaven is closer than you think.

  17. Paul Perdue says:

    I teared up, too. I hope Bowie sees this. I would have added a few more no-gravity shots (Chris upside-down, etc.)

  18. DC says:

    Not bad. 44 years later the song still resonates. However, I did note that the lyrics were “adjusted” a bit. Most significantly, the line about “your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong” was changed, which does, from a cultural and artistic perspective, dramatically alter the song. So it goes. The original lyrics are too nihilistic and alienated for this version I suppose. Sigh.

    • Mark Gibson says:

      They *had* to change the lyrics. Firstly…nobody who is in a space station is going to sing a song about dying in orbit. That’s not delightful, that’s macabre. Secondly – When LibertyBell 7 went up, they painted a crack on the LIberty Bell logo. Gus Grissom almost died, and the spacecraft was lost. Since then, NASA tradition is that no allusions to broken stuff is allowed; no cracks painted, no words written, etc. So there’s just no way in the world an astronaut would break that tradition. I don’t think astronauts tend toward the superstitious…but as I (and anyone who has ever stood a midnight watch on a boat at night can tell you), the sky is vast, and we are small, and there’s no need to borrow trouble.

      I think sailors, aviators & astronauts can all agree on that concept, completely.

      • DC says:

        Fine. They “had” to change the lyrics. But that doesn’t negate the fact that the song he sings in this video is not in an essential and vital way the song that Bowie wrote and performed. And in my opinion if Bowie had originally written and performed the song in this “NASA friendly” vein it would have fallen far short of ever becoming an iconic and memorable song. Remember: it’s “Space Oddity” not “Space Conformity.”

      • A Ziggen says:

        As Jim Lovell noted…13 comes after 12…hasn’t been a NASA spacecraft with the #13 since Apollo.

        Great job Chris!!

  19. Ish says:

    That was the ish.

  20. JamesTK says:


  21. Alex Hamilton says:

    So that’s where billions of dollars went…

  22. mok says:

    amazing! bet Bowie had no idea his words would become a reality? cool of him to endorse this effort!

    • John G. says:

      Even though he’s part of the American astronaut program, he’s a retired colonel from the Canadian air force and is on their dime.

  23. John G. says:

    I’ve know Chris could sing for a number of years. There is a restaurant in Kemah, TX, “The Hoagie Ranch,” that would have various locals come in on Friday night and play and sing. Chris, along with Cady Coleman, another astronaut, would show up occasionally. Cady would play the flute and Chris would pick and sing. They would sometimes bring others in the program with them, including one of the Russian astronauts. They are “special” ordinary folks.

    • patrick d says:

      Earlier this year, she performed live with the Chieftains and the Houston Symphony and Chris joined in via video feed from space. It was very moving.

  24. It would have been better had he sang “Benson, Arizona.”

  25. Mary says:

    Gorgeous!! Thank you Major Tom:)

  26. Why did I tear up watching it? Beautiful piece of work.

  27. Tim says:

    Awesome! Chris performs in an astronaut band called “Max Q” when he’s not floating up on the station. Glad the world is getting to hear it now!

  28. KG1 says:

    This story makes me smile. Last year I completed my private pilot certificate. During flight I would often absentmindedly hum or sing parts of song. The young instructor didn’t think much of it until he happened to hear it on the car radio the week after I “graduated” and was flying on my own. He had a good laugh but said he was glad he didn’t know the song until afterward.

  29. Rex says:

    I guess not many posters on here know what the song is about or listened closely to the end of it.
    At the end of the song they lose control of the craft and Major Tom says to tell my wife I love her very much (it is implied that he is going to die) So it is a great song for an astronaut that wants to temp irony, karma, fate, Murphy’s law, Satan’s morbid sense of humor….you know stuff like that.
    And yes the gentleman that posted it was macabre was correct in his use of the word. When the word was first coined, all the flicks like “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” had not been written.

    • Mark Gibson says:

      If you listen, you’ll see that the lyrics are changed.THIS song is about changing command staff, not an astronauts death.

      LibertyBell 7, duh

      Sent from my iPhone

  30. robbin says:


  31. Mark Ramm says:

    I wouldnt be singing that song in space, as its a song about the astronaut dying :D

  32. Tom Lefaivre says:

    Simply, well done. Beautiful!

  33. Ken Thomas says:

    This was just amazing…..just beautiful……touched all my soul, thank you

  34. Camry says:

    Pure brilliance

  35. Mark Gibson says:

    Ok Internet….Hadfield wins.

    Hyperbole aside….I wish there was a lot more of this. The music & video made me want to cry; if NASA had spent more time humanizing the men & women who work in space, and less time trying to convince us that they’re superhumans, then maybe Obama wouldn’t have been able to get away with killing our space program. It’s moot now, of course….I’m so glad to have this video, though.

    • ConditionGroundedButDeterminedToTry says:

      It wouldn’t have mattered. He would have just told them that it was either America stays in space, or they get free cell phones. Enough really wanted those free cell phones.

  36. Yowsa says:

    (art + science) X perfection = Spiritual

  37. big frank says:

    Wonderful Chris. You’ve set the bar!

  38. schm0e says:

    “And there we were all, in one place, a generation lost in space…”…Miss American Pie would have been perfect.

  39. Allan Lasley says:

    Delightful! Broght a smile to my heart.

  40. Ron Boyer says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Touches the inner self. The potential for all peoples of the earth to achieve miracles is indeed possible. Makes one want to live for centuries to see how the future unfolds and be apart of it all.

  41. Alan says:

    That honestly made me tear up. The men and women who have the guts and drive and vision to go into space are true heroes. Sad that those who make negative comments are so shallow to appreciate this. Chris Hadfield’s bodily waste has more intelligence and honor than some of you.

  42. Jeff says:

    Very macabre song for an astronaut to sing…

  43. John says:

    I think that is so cool. Being a child alive watching all the lift offs and following the missions, being a child of the late 60’s and 70’s …this was a perfect video to watch…..

  44. Richard Hansard says:

    Fantastic. Of course the first joint recording was with jean Michel jarre and an astronaut whose name escapes me! I believe he died on the shuttle. So sad

  45. Bill says:

    My apologies to the moderators, edit out the inappropriate language please…

  46. Art Granda says:

    Thank you for the song, Chris. Now then, when you have time can you get a snap of the Big Dipper taken from the ISS? Thanks in advance.

  47. Bill says:

    OK…having worked in the US space progran, I have a comment for C, zophski, and Steve James…lighten up! Astronauts are NOT on duty 24 hours per day, idiots! They have both sleep periods and “personal time” for rest and recreation, both of which were found to be VERY important for their health early in the space program. This is NOT a “waste of tax dollars” but a critical part of keeping them healthy in orbit at 0 G.

    In addition, video clips like this help millions on earth gain a little appreciation of what it is like to fly in space, and a,so how beautiful Earth is from there.

    So take your drivel and stuff it!

    • Steve James says:

      He’s on the taxpayer dime and we should expect a bit more of a return on our investment than for valuable time to be spent on a music video. It’s only a rational expectation of taxpayer money.

    • zophski says:

      Having been a researcher for the US Air Force, and having been an engineer at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station working alongside NASA colleagues, I am convinced it is not worth it.

      Bill, I will gladly “stuff it” if all of this tax burden (NASA, manned space flight) were to produced anything more substantial than a cordless-drill, or a space toilet, or a series of spectacles for the masses (such as this music video). The manned space programs are under-performers in terms of scientific discovery, but they are disproportionately expensive when compared to the UN-manned programs such as the Mars Rovers, or the Hubble, etc. Unfortunately, manned space flight is not much more than propaganda left over from the cold war. This may change some day, but not likely with NASA, more likely with the efforts of private individuals such as Jeff Bezos, Burt Rutan, Elon Musk, et al. – who are trying to develop space exploration with investor’s money, not tax dollars (Elon Musk being an exception, as he is now in bed with NASA manned space flight).

      In short, I see this music video as little more than a PR stunt by governments in order to convince the tax paying public that “it’s all worth it” – but my own life’s experiences tell me that it is otherwise. I do apologize if my words come across as hurtful – I do understand the level of desire that people generally have for the success of space exploration, and this video is a work of art. My main gripe is that the price of admission was not negotiable – we were all forced to pay for this even though we may not all consent.

      • Mark Gibson says:

        We all pay for schools, the military, fire stations, coast guard, etc, even though most of us aren’t invaded, robbed, lost at sea, house burned down, etc. even if $ were being spent exhorbitatntly, space travel is worth it.

        But NASA has always been one of the least expensive depts of all. Compared to defense, or even the bloody useless “Dept of Education” NASA has never been more than a drop in the bucket. And since NASA research is owned in public trust, we have all benefitted immensely. You can sneer at cordless drills if you like, but that tech has been very useful and it goes a lot further than drills.

        For an alleged researcher you seem awfully short-sighted.

        But it is true that engineers think they can replace men with drones, and sometimes it may be true. But if the question becomes one on simply sending robots to space, then I too am only moderately interested.

        We have a duty, though, to get humans off of this vulnerable ball if mud. And we have a destiny, a reason for living. Spreading to the stars seems like a good use of tax payer money to me; but there are always people who can’t see past the end of thier nose, and I will never forgive Obama and Democrats for killing off space travel every chance they get.

        The only positive part of it that I can think of is that when private companies get into space, the US Govt will have no say, no authority, and no influence on those who out migrate.

        And then how happy will taxpayers be to learn they’ve been shut out of the whole thing?

        Ad Astra…

More Music News from Variety