Are you a fan of David Bowie’s classic song Space Oddity? Ever thought how much cooler it would be if it were actually performed in space? Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield certainly did. While he was on the International Space Station (ISS) he recorded his own, slightly altered version of the song. The original song involves Major Tom being lost in space as his ship malfunctions, so die-hard Bowie fans hopefully won’t find the changes too blasphemous.
With over twenty-one million views to date, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already seen this video. Honestly, I can’t watch it enough: The footage is awe inspiring, and the floating special effects put the 2013 box-office hit Gravity to shame (Hadfield actually comments on the movie’s realism on Conan; the special effects pass the grade, Sandra Bullock’s space underwear – not so much).
But I think the real question here is, why is there a guitar in space? Well, imagine if you were in cramped quarters, in space, far away from everyone you know and love. Surely it would be nice to play a couple of your favourite jams while you were out there? According to Hadfield, it was actually the psych specialists back in Houston that recommended taking the guitar up. With there being an entire journal on music therapy, there’s certainly a lot of studies out there that support the fact that a little bit of music is good for you. NASA has actually sent up a whole bunch of instruments into orbit including a keyboard, flute, saxophone and didgeridoo (for non-Australian’s, that’s an Australian-Aboriginal wind instrument that sounds like this).
Chris Hadfield is now back on Earth. Him and his mustache continue to support good causes and educate people about the wonderful world beyond our own.
I will leave you with this. Who better than Hadfield to promote the great cause of Movember?
The Space Oddity video and Astronaut’s Guide to Movember is sourced from Chris Hadfield’s YouTube Page. Check it out for answers to many space related questions as they are answered by a floating Hadfield in the low gravity of the ISS. Awesome.
Header picture sourced from Hubblesite