Ground control to Major Tom: ISS commander sings David Bowie
International Space Station Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield returns to Earth, and eventually Canada, on Monday. So, what better way to end the mission than doing a personalized rendition of David Bowie’s classic “A Space Oddity,” in the first music video from space.
Hadfield, from the Canadian Space Agency, has been one chatty dude up there in the International Space Station, tweeting constantly during the Expedition 35 mission, which included a precedent-setting emergency spacewalk this weekend to repair an ammonia coolant leak.
Hadfield has a huge following on Twitter: Some 773,118 Earthlings were following him as of Sunday afternoon. Among the gems today were “Canada rocks,” with a picture of the Canadian Rockies. He even expressed hope that the Boston Bruins would play “a memorable game against the Leafs,” a Canadian team.
In the video, Hadfield is seen floating through the station, playing acoustic guitar, and peering out into space through one of the station’s ports.
The first Canadian commander of the station, Hadfield handed over command to Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov.
Hadfield was raised on a corn farm in southern Ontario, according to his NASA biography. At age 15, he won a glider pilot scholarship, and a year later he won a powered pilot scholarship. He also taught skiing and ski racing part- and full-time for 10 years, according to NASA. The rest of the bio is the usual astronaut overachievement: testing ridiculously fast aircraft, doing major research and building his resume as the coolest Canadian ever.
The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft will un-dock from the station at 7:08 p.m. Eastern time Monday, officially ending Expedition 35 and carrying Hadfield, Tom Marshburn and Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko back to Earth. They are scheduled for a 10:31 p.m. landing in southern Kazakhstan, wrapping up 146 days in space, according to NASA.
Among the highlights of the mission were tests of the Canadian Dextre robot as part of NASA’s robotic refueling mission, which the agency hopes will one day enable astronauts to retrieve, refuel and repair satellites in orbit around Earth.
[For the Record, 8:15 p.m. PDT May 12: A previous version of this post identified Chris Hadfield as a NASA commander. He is with the Canadian Space Agency and commands the Expedition 35 crew, an international team.]
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