Watch: Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s cover of ‘Space Oddity’ and David Bowie’s response

05.13.13 5 years ago

Astronaut Chris Hadfield has become something of a cult hero in the five months that he”s served as the Commander of the International Space Station on Expedition 35.

[More after the jump…]

His frequent tweets (@Cmdr_Hadfield), the breathtaking photos of earth he”s posted, and even his love of music had endeared the Canadian astronaut to many. But as he prepares to leave the Space Station today, yesterday he left all of us with a parting gift that only made him more of a cosmic superstar.

On Sunday, shortly after he”d handed over the command of the ISS to Astronaut Pavel Vidograv, he posted a video of his performing David Bowie”s classic “Space Oddity,” filmed in the capsule with him floating in zero gravity. In less than 24 hours, the video has gotten more than 1.5 million page views. As Hadfield”s fans know from the single he released earlier with Barenaked Ladies” Ed Robertson, he”s a pretty good singer and it can”t be easy to play guitar in space.

As it turns out, Hadfield”s version even has a sweet connection to Bowie, as someone in Bowie”s camp explained shortly after the video went up:

From David Bowie”s official Facebook page:


“Hallo Spaceboy…”

Commander Chris Hadfield, currently on board the International Space Station, has just tweeted his version of David Bowie”s Space Oddity.

Here”s what his Tweet said:


A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
With thanks to Emm Gryner, Joe Corcoran, Andrew Tidby and Evan Hadfield for all their hard work.


It”s possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created and you may recognise the name of one of those involved in its creation.

We”re talking about Chris’s fellow Canadian, the lovely Emm Gryner, who was a part of the Bowie live band in 1999/2000. Here”s what she said on her blog ( regarding her involvement:

“The task was in front of me. I came up with a piano part. I then enlisted my friend, producer and fellow Canadian Joe Corcoran to take my piano idea and Chris’ vocal and blow it up into a fully produced song. Drums! mellotrons! fuzz bass! We also incorporated into the track ambient space station noises which Chris had put on his Soundcloud. I was mostly blown away by how pure and earnest Chris’ singing is on this track. Like weightlessness and his voice agreed to agree.
And voila! And astronaut sings Space Oddity in space! I was so honoured to be asked to be a part of this. You wouldn’t get too many chances to make a recording like this and not only that, to make music with someone who – through his vibrant communications with kids in schools to his breathtaking photos to his always patient and good-humoured demeanour – has done more for science and space than anyone else this generation. Planet earth IS blue, and there’s nothing left for Chris Hadfield to do. Right. Safe travels home Commander! ”

Hadfield comes back to earth later today. Safe splashdown, Commander!

We”ve reached out to Bowie”s publicist to see if he has any further comment on Hadfield”s version. If you haven”t seen it, enjoy it below.

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