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Space Oddity

Space Oddity


Song. Guitar performace

NASA / Roscosmos

In May 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of Expedition 35 to the International Space Station (ISS), recorded a video of "Space Oddity" on the ISS that went viral and generated a great deal of media exposure. It was the first music video to be recorded in space. In the video, which was filmed at the end of Hadfield's time at the ISS, Hadfield sang and played guitar while on Earth, Joe Corcoran produced and mixed the backing track with a piano arrangement by multi-instrumentalist Emm Gryner, who worked with Bowie during his 1999–2000 concert tours. Gryner said she was "so proud to be a part of it".

The lyrics were somewhat altered; rather than losing communication with Ground Control and being lost in space as a result, Major Tom receives his orders to land and does so safely, reflecting Hadfield's imminent return from his final mission to the ISS. Hadfield announced the video on his Twitter account, writing: "With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here's Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World." Bowie is also thanked in the closing credits. Bowie's social media team responded to the video, tweeting back to Hadfield, "Hallo Spaceboy ...", and later called the cover "possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created".

Hadfield's performance was the subject of a piece by Glenn Fleishman in The Economist on 22 May 2013 analyzing the legal implications of publicly performing a copyrighted work of music while in Earth orbit. The song is the only one of Bowie's for which he did not own the copyright. Bowie's publisher granted Hadfield a one-year licence to the song. On 13 May 2014, when the one-year licence expired, the official video was taken offline despite Bowie's explicit wishes for the publisher to grant Hadfield a licence at no charge to record the song and produce the video. Following negotiations, the video was restored to YouTube on 2 November 2014 with a two-year licence agreement in place. According to Pegg, Hadfield's video is "Breathtakingly beautiful and extraordinarily moving, [and] offers a rare opportunity to deploy that overused adjective 'awesome' with complete justification".

Source: Wikipedia

Technical information:

Artwork name:

Space Oddity




Chris Hadfield



This work is part of the following collection:


Song. Guitar performace




Performance, Audio


IAAA Art Style:

Launch vehicle / mission:

Soyouz TMA-07M, Expedition 35

Host spacecraft / hardware:

International Space Station



Launch location:

Baikonour Cosmodrome

Launch date:

19 Dec 2012

Orbit / space location:

LEO, International Space Station (ISS)

Return vehicle:

End date:



Client / Agency:

NASA / Roscosmos


Chris Hadfield



Chris Hadfield


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