Canadian Col. Chris Hadfield, aboard the International Space Station, has done what you would probably want to do if aboard the high-flying orbital outpost: make a music video for David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” And he works “Soyuz” into the lyrics. (Thankfully, he refrains from making it “Colonel Chris.” The only complaint: a shame it can’t cut between the ISS and Mission Control.)

Colonel Hadfield, if you can hear us and have a moment, we’d love to hear how you produced the recording. Not that zero-g means too much for sound production – though I imagine keeping the mic steady becomes a new concern.

Update – David Bowie band veteran Emm Gryner worked on the track’s production, and she explains a bit of how it came about on her blog:

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.

May 12, 2013: Space Oddity in Space


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.

Find out more:


The astronaut himself also writes his own music, and performed a touching duet with Canadian artists back on the ground, including a bunch of kids and the Barenaked Ladies. It’s especially nice to hear him put in song his feelings about seeing his homeland and getting to work on a space project driven by cooperating nations, rather than competing ones:

Watch the video above as astronaut Chris Hadfield, from aboard the International Space Station, performs “I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)” with Ed Robertson, the rest of the Barenaked Ladies and the Wexford Gleeks from Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, who were all at the CBC studios in Toronto.

The song, which was written by Hadfield and Robertson in partnership with Music Monday, CBC Music and the Canadian Space Agency, explores what it’s like to look down on the Earth from outer space. It will also be the official song for the 2013 edition of Music Monday, which takes place on May 6.

Whether in orbit or on the ground, I hope we remain in a music community that still believes in the future, that Space is the Place.

  • Wheat Williams

    As a singer, I wonder how zero gravity affects your breath support…

    • Peter Kirn

      I wouldn’t imagine it would have much impact, but I expect the pressure level / hydration on ISS and other physical issues would, eh?

  • Blue Monster 65

    That is ridiculously cool.

  • kconnor9000

    Wow. That is seriously impressive bravery. I suppose it’s part of the job description, but wow. Hats off.

  • Marco Raaphorst

    what’s that guitar doing? okay, that acoustic part. ha! fun :)

  • vēer

    Heh, there goes worlds most expensive music video/amateur music video, shot in outer space, neat!

    Awesome, kudos to Hadfield, a man, a legend!

  • Blob

    This is so cool, awesome and beautiful I feel like crying. Seriously. Regards to commander Hatfield

  • Richard Sharpless

    Strange, very strange. I hope nothing that happens in the song ever happens to anyone. How about doing ” The Next Go Round”, the next go round?

  • Andy Cartridge

    that is actually rather awesome

  • Chris Hahn
    • Peter Kirn

      Thanks! Added to the story. Still curious about how Col. Hadfield recorded things on ISS, though!

  • Marco Raaphorst
  • Graham Metcalfe

    Awesome, eh!

  • Nick Cuttooth Cooke

    Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Been all over the news and everything.

  • Jason Ray Schoepfer

    This is our version of missile defence. One very proud Canadian. He represents!,,

  • John Gough

    Do NASA approve of this way of spending time when their staff should be working :)… I jest obviously. That’s flippin awesome kudos Captain, well played.

  • XLerator

    Next: Klaatu’s – “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft”

  • Wheat Williams

    Another thing I gleaned is that the guitar (an old model of a Larrivée parlor outfitted with an internal pickup and battery-powered preamp) has been on the space station for 12 years, and has been played by many astronauts. The NASA psychiatrists in Houston thought it important to provide the astronauts with a musical instrument as a creative outlet.