Chris Hadfield’s Space Oddity Cover Is About To Vanish From YouTube

By David Wharton | 7 years ago

If you’re a regular reader of GFR, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve got a serious nerd crush on Canadian astronaut/former ISS commander Chris Hadfield, whose social media updates from the International Space Station were both fascinating and addictive, all culminating in his covering David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”…from space. If you somehow managed to miss that historic moment, you can watch it right now up top. Well, so long as “right now” for you is within the next few hours of when I’m writing this, anyway. Hadfield announced via Twitter that the “Space Oddity” video would be coming down later today.

Why is such a cosmic gem getting yanked away from the immortalizing embrace of the intertubes? Well, it’s been a year since the video first went up, if you can believe it (I can’t), and he only had permission to use the Bowie song for one year. I realize that’s how this sort of things work: lawyers don’t like to sign off on things that include words like “in perpetuity” when it comes to letting somebody use their client’s material. Hadfield’s son, Evan, who helped orchestrate Hadfield’s social media campaign while his dad was in orbit, told Mashable that they hope to be able to get the “Space Oddity” back online at some point. Evan said, “We are working on getting it back up, but there are few promises with something as complicated as videos from space.”

I have a feeling that Hadfield’s “Space Oddity” video has helped sell a shit-ton of copies of that song over the past 12 months, so hopefully Mr. Stardust will give Hadfield the greenlight to put it back up sometime soon. I can’t imagine the existence of Hadfield’s video is stopping many people who would otherwise have purchased the song.

Hadfield’s “Space Oddity” video was first posted on May 12, 2013, and has since gone on to garner more than 22 million views on YouTube, not to mention tons of broader media attention. For all the inherent wonder and amazement that our brief forays into outer space can generate, sometimes it takes a novelty like somebody singing Bowie while weightless to really capture the public’s attention.

Born in Ontario, Hadfield is a former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions, and was commander of the ISS during Expedition 35, which ran from March 13, 2013 – May 13, 2013. He even got to debut some Canadian currency redesigns while he was up there.

If the “Space Oddity” video has gone the way of the dodo by the time you’re reading this, you can at least watch Hadfield cover the song while Earthside below. Not nearly as cool, granted, but Hadfield’s still just as cool. Did we mention our nerd crush? Thanks, for the memories, Commander!



All photos courtesy of Chris Hadfield