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Astronaut Chris Hadfield Performs Space Oddity On the ISS 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-space-nobody-can-hear-you-sing dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With updated lyrics, commander of expedition 35 on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, sings Space Oddity on board the ISS. He's not Bowie, but he's pretty good."

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield Performs Space Oddity On the ISS

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  • by earlzdotnet (2788729) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:14PM (#43706295)
    That is all.
  • Ashes to Ashes (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:17PM (#43706317) Journal

    That seems like such a weird song to sing up there sitting in a tin can.

    Bowie sorta updated the matter on Scary Monsters anyway.

    ashes to ashes funk to funky [lyricsdepot.com]
    we know major tom's a junky
    strung out on heaven's high
    hitting an all time low

    • by hutsell (1228828)

      That seems like such a weird song to sing up there sitting in a tin can.

      Bowie sorta updated the matter on Scary Monsters anyway.

      ashes to ashes funk to funky [lyricsdepot.com] we know major tom's a junky strung out on heaven's high hitting an all time low

      A fwiw comment about the original song: I knew it had come out decades ago, but was surprised to discover (after checking Wikipedia) it was Bowie's breakthrough and first commercial success, hitting the top 5 in the U.K. when it was released on July 11th, 1969 -- for myself, a date close enough to the Apollo 11's moon landing to making it interestingly appropriate.

  • This is very cool but it is so well done that it looks less like one guys space video and more like a viral marketing effort from NASA...

    Im ok with it because NASA needs to do whatever it can to recapture Americas attention and imagination and thus maybe we can get public support to make space a priority as it should have always remained.

    • by yincrash (854885) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:22PM (#43706339)
      Chris Hadfield is a Canadian (working for the CSA). I'm sure that Chris would like more people to want to go in to space and become scientists, etc. If you look at his previous videos though, I would say this is pretty in line with the other stuff he's done (just with more effort in to it).
      • by yincrash (854885) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:24PM (#43706345)
        Additionally, this is the person [twitter.com] in the credits who edited it, also a Canadian, and doesn't work for any space agency. Let's try not to think everything is a conspiracy, please.
        • Additionally, this is the person [twitter.com] in the credits who edited it, also a Canadian, and doesn't work for any space agency. Let's try not to think everything is a conspiracy, please.

          The only conspiracy coming from up here (canada) is a push for more maple syrup for breakfast, and bacon in every meal. We're winning on one of those fronts.

          • by Cwix (1671282)

            If you are winning on bacon at every meal, I will be moving there asap. The maple syrup conspiracy will not be looked down upon either lol

          • by H0p313ss (811249) on Monday May 13, 2013 @12:18AM (#43706645)

            Additionally, this is the person [twitter.com] in the credits who edited it, also a Canadian, and doesn't work for any space agency. Let's try not to think everything is a conspiracy, please.

            The only conspiracy coming from up here (canada) is a push for more maple syrup for breakfast, and bacon in every meal. We're winning on one of those fronts.

            Let's not forget about operation Poutine.

            • Let's not forget about operation Poutine.

              I have a feeling that will be the downfall of Canadians in space. Can you imagine gravy covered cheese curds bouncing into equipment in zero-G?

          • by AaronLS (1804210)

            I'm certain the theft of your syrup reserve was a conspiracy to send the Canadian nation into turmoil. (j/k in case anyone thinks I'm serious)

        • By claiming there is no conspiracy, you prove to those who believe in the conspiracy that you are part of the conspiracy.
          • By claiming there is no conspiracy, you prove to those who believe in the conspiracy that you are part of the conspiracy.

            That's what they want you to believe.

        • Well, it does kinda have a giant CSA logo in the corner, complete with awkward bilingual domain name. I'd like to think that at least implies some endorsement, yes?
    • Um... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:23PM (#43706343)

      ...he's Canadian.

      And stop being so cynical. Sometimes stuff can be cool without being "viral marketing".

    • by Demonantis (1340557) on Monday May 13, 2013 @12:49AM (#43706807)
      I am a Canadian and have seen Chris Hadfield at several presentation. He didn't market anything other than promoting people to pick up an interest in science. I think the high quality video/data transmission capability is something NASA is really proud of technically and they are trying to come up with reasons to show it off. And I agree its really sad that America has forgot how much research and technology NASA has spit out and how much more it could spit out.
    • by bratwiz (635601)

      Maybe we could petition NASA to send David Bowie to the Space Station...

  • Lens Flare (Score:5, Funny)

    by yincrash (854885) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:20PM (#43706327)
    Who knew that having that many lens flares was true to life?!
  • Space oddity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Clived (106409) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:26PM (#43706355)

    Attaboy Chris

    you sounded great, A Canadian space rock and roller.Hey, if you ever wanted to try your hand at karaoke .. we are at the Wally, Donlands and OConnor in Toronto.

    *grin* and have a safe trip back

  • Here's to a safe return journey back to earth tomorrow.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:48PM (#43706445)

    That was pretty good, but I really liked his joint work with Barenaked Ladies [youtube.com] (he sings there also, even though Ed Roberts does most of the vocals) in a nice tribute to the ISS...

    • Isn't there a lag in communications?

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:24AM (#43706971)

        Isn't there a lag in communications?

        The ISS orbits around 330km - 435 km above the earth (around 230 miles on average). That's less than the width of a single province in Canada!

        If you look at various communication delays [spaceacademy.net.au] based on distance, and assume that during the performance the ISS was basically roughly over Canada or even the U.S, you can see that the delay would be substantially less than for most international phone calls! In fact calling from one major city to another in the same country probably has as much delay, and there's no discernible delay to the caller in that case (well if you aren't using Skype).

        It just goes to show how there's not much up you have to go before you are in space.

        Also one could imagine that if you were "super serious" and kind of nerdy about doing a performance (as both the commander and BNL would be), that you might also set up a synchronized metronome that really did clock off at exactly the same time at the two locations to help the performer on the ISS stay in sync. But I doubt that was needed, and for a performance it's probably far more valuable to be able to riff off how the other performers are playing.

        • Isn't there a lag in communications?

          The ISS orbits around 330km - 435 km above the earth (around 230 miles on average). That's less than the width of a single province in Canada!

          If you look at various communication delays [spaceacademy.net.au] based on distance, and assume that during the performance the ISS was basically roughly over Canada or even the U.S, you can see that the delay would be substantially less than for most international phone calls!

          As far as I can tell, the high bandwidth connections they use for media events are done by bouncing a Ku band signal off geostationary satellites(*), and the delay is significant (watch any of his videos taking questions from school kids and you'll see a noticable communications delay).

          (* they don't seem to have global coverage with Ku band, only being able to use it when in range of certain satellites. This surprises me because I would've expected there to be enough geostationary sats for one to be visible from anywhere in orbit and it can't be *that* expensive to buy bandwidth on several.)

          • Does anyone have an idea why they're doing this? IIRC the distance to geostationary orbit is bigger than the omne to ground, so why waste energy for that long distance stuff?

            • Does anyone have an idea why they're doing this? IIRC the distance to geostationary orbit is bigger than the omne to ground, so why waste energy for that long distance stuff?

              At a guess: the Ku band geostationary satellites are already there commercially, so its cheap to just buy some bandwidth when they need it. Doing high bandwidth communications with the ISS directly would require an extensive network of dedicated ground stations with pointable dishes (and appropriate backhauls between them) - remember the ISS is doing an orbit every 90 minutes, so a single ground station isn't going to be able to keep a connection for long. A geostationary sat is going to be able to keep the ISS within its coverage area for much longer than a ground station.

              • It's not too hard to spot the ISS going overhead when the conditions are right - it's like a fairly bright star [flickr.com] going at a fair speed across the sky. It's visible for just minutes at a time - it's sufficiently close to the Earth that you'd definitely need a hefty world-wide network to communicate directly.

                (NASA ISS sightings site here [nasa.gov].)

            • Brief information here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-3NJxzlAGU&t=10m16s [youtube.com]

              His description of how they access the internet is a bit vague.. sort of sounds like they have some kind of remote-desktop setup for internet access, which seems slightly odd. I guess if this is the case, it does protect them from malware by ensuring that only the remote-desktop server is infected rather than the ISS computers themselves, which might be the whole reason for it.

            • by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Monday May 13, 2013 @05:35AM (#43708013)

              Does anyone have an idea why they're doing this? IIRC the distance to geostationary orbit is bigger than the omne to ground, so why waste energy for that long distance stuff?

              The ISS orbits the Earth 15.7 times a day. It has an orbital period of 92 minutes and 50 seconds. That means that it's rotational velocity relative to the centre of the Earth is almost 4 degrees per minute, which is pretty difficult to track.

              Of course, that's assuming your antenna is at the centre of the Earth, and the Earth doesn't obstruct signals (not true). In the real world, your antenna is on the surface of the Earth, and is only going to be able to communicate with the space station when it's passing overhead. The angular velocity of the station relative to you is going to be much, much higher than 4 degrees a minute, because it's coming mostly towards you, passing relatively close. (The Earth's radius is 6371 km and the ISS orbits at 330 to 435 km of altitude, so it's pretty close.

              If you can't picture this difference in relative velocity, imagine a fast car on a long circular race track. Imagine you're standing in the middle and turning to watch it as it circles you at constant speed. Now imagine yourself trackside. The car whings past you in the blink of an eye, then takes a seemingly long time to go round the rest of the track, and when it gets back to you, it whings past again.

              So while the path of the ISS can be accurately computed in advance and could theoretically be programmed into a motorised antenna, it would have to be a very very expensive motorised antenna, and it would have to be meticulously cleaned before every use to avoid any of the bearings jammed even for a fraction of a second.

              Not only that, but if we picture ourselves back at the trackside, we get the familiar weeeEEEEEE-Yowoooooooooo as the car passes us: the so-called Doppler effect. Any direct transmission between the ISS and ground stations would suffer the same distortion due to relative speeds. A broadcast to geostationary orbit suffers no doppler effect relative to any point on the surface of the Earth (obviously -- zero relative velocity), and the distortion due to the relative speed of the ISS vs geostationary is pretty much negligible (the ISS's orbit has a radius of approximately 6700km, whereas a geostationary satellite's rotation has a radius of 42000km -- you're no longer at the race track; you're now watching someone driving in a small circle at the opposite side of the car park, and the engine noise doesn't change pitch perceptibly).

              • Thanks for the pointer & explanation. While I was quite aware of the problems for direct communications ground to ISS, I somehow expected it much more difficult to aim for the parking lot from the race-car but of course this gets easier with distance

    • So it's all been done before?

  • by Spazed (1013981) on Sunday May 12, 2013 @11:49PM (#43706449)
    Most expensive music video ever.
  • by Petersko (564140) on Monday May 13, 2013 @12:03AM (#43706549)

    Bragging rights like "First Music Video in Space" don't come around every day!

  • Congrats (Score:5, Interesting)

    by n3r0.m4dski11z (447312) on Monday May 13, 2013 @12:25AM (#43706687) Homepage Journal

    This guy's near daily media appearances has certainly inspired many canadians including myself. I have watched many children sing along with his ISS song (not as good as david bowie, but its the thought that counts) and it really inspires. Hopefully helping lots of kids to think about becoming scientists, researchers and yes astronauts. Space can seem so dull sometimes, he really brings it to life.

    I may not care for much patriotically these days, but hes really doing canada a service being so media savvy. I am not sure if american astronauts do so much singing, and perhaps its covered extensively by their local media and I just never hear about it. But he really could be one of a kind.

    • Re:Congrats (Score:5, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:35AM (#43707031)

      This guy's near daily media appearances has certainly inspired many canadians including myself. I have watched many children sing along with his ISS song (not as good as david bowie, but its the thought that counts) and it really inspires. Hopefully helping lots of kids to think about becoming scientists, researchers and yes astronauts. Space can seem so dull sometimes, he really brings it to life.

      I may not care for much patriotically these days, but hes really doing canada a service being so media savvy. I am not sure if american astronauts do so much singing, and perhaps its covered extensively by their local media and I just never hear about it. But he really could be one of a kind.

      Before he launched in December, Chris mentioned he was going to do the first album recorded in space, I'm hoping this was just a taste of what's coming.

      I have to be honest, I've been watching a LOT of Chris' videos that get posted by the CSA (Canadian Space Agency) (an agency facing budget cuts from the Harper Government(tm)). I don't think I've seen anyone from the ISS do so much media relations in their off time.

      I know a few other commanders have done media work - Don Pettit did some as well. With the American Physical Society (any physics major should know them) he did a bunch of videos called "Science off the Sphere" (which I apparently finally got my T-Shirt from that).

      Chris is definitely very media friendly and has hosted a LOT Of media events while aboard - he even keeps in touch with Discovery Canada's Daily Planet [discovery.ca], the longest running science program around. Honestly, Chris Hadfield is awesome!

      Safe journey home - your country eagerly awaits your arrival!

      (Alas, Canada's first astronaut was snubbed recently... [www.cbc.ca])

    • I may not care for much patriotically these days, but hes really doing canada a service being so media savvy.

      He's doing the *world* a service. His regular youtube videos have been excellent; but more than that, his regular facebook posts really bring it home to you that this stuff is happening right now all the time. And he's not just followed by Canadians - no other astronaut from any nation has engaged with the public as much as he has. I'm hoping we see more of this from other astronauts.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      I am not sure if american astronauts do so much singing, and perhaps its covered extensively by their local media's lawyers

      This is why we can't have nice things in the U.S.

  • by gman003 (1693318)

    In an odd little coincidence, the first time I ever listened to the original version of this song was yesterday. What can I say, I don't listen to much music, not from that era (yes, yes, I'll get off your damn lawn now, old man).

    I have now listened to the Commander Hadfield version more times than the original. And, while Bowie is undoubtedly more musically talented, there's something about Hadfield's version that makes it seem more... emotional? Real? Something like that. Whatever the reason is, I prefer

    • The original David Bowie song is really about drug addiction. In his later hit, 'Ashes to Ashes', Bowie sings, "We all know Major Tom's a junkie."
  • That was brilliant.

    Thanks

  • There I thought I was gonna see a sword swallowed or a nail into a sinus cavity..in SPACE! This folk music is no Oddity!

    "Astronaut Chris Hadfiled Performs the Song Space Oddity"...FTFY
  • by XNormal (8617) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:20AM (#43706953) Homepage

    Ground control to Major Tom! Your ammonia leaks, there's something wrong. Can you hear me Major Tom?

  • by Damon Campagna (585348) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:26AM (#43706983)
    Commander Hadfield is the most well known astronaut since Sally Ride -- and with this, he'll be right up there with Neil Armstrong. If this is viral marketing, then THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SPACE PROGRAM NEEDS! Fun, excitement, exquisite beauty -- that's what Hadfield has been beaming back to Earth for the last five months. I've been following his facebook posts for the last couple months and I was genuinely concerned about the ammonia leak this week and his spacewalk, and so were millions of other people. How many "fans" will watch his live prime-time EDT re-entry tomorrow night after watching this video tonight? How many even bothered to watch the final Shuttle landing? This guy is a bona fide star and we who care about space exploration should be embracing him.
  • by cmason (53054) on Monday May 13, 2013 @01:29AM (#43707001) Homepage
    I mean, in the title. Really? The dude's in space. I think the least we can do for him is not space out on the spelling of his name.
  • It is clear by now that the space is extremely hostile environment for biological systems.

    A robotized HD high-speed telescope-digital camera on the surface of the moon could provide nearly real time imagery of the whole Earth surface. It could be very useful for mapping Earth.

    Satellite imagery is spotty. Satellites have unstable orbits. They contribute to the space junk issue.

    Good maps of Earth can do a lot, a lot of good to our planet, - to reduce traffic pollution, to fight fires more effectively
    • by Max_W (812974)
      I mean we use daily maps which are built on satellite imagery 3 - 5 years old. And even this is only in large cities and in industrial countries.

      Since the orbit of satellites are unstable the imagery is hard to connect with geographical coordinates precisely.

      I do not think humanity can live in space. We on Earth are protected from deadly radiation by the massive iron-nickel rotating planet's kernel.

      So let us place the HD telescope-digital camera on the surface of the Moon and direct it not to the r
    • And if all we ever wanted was pretty pictures of the Earth, we'd leave it to the satellites. But that's not what the ISS is for, is it?

      Satellite imagery is spotty. Satellites have unstable orbits. They contribute to the space junk issue.

      "Spotty"? What does that mean? Also satellites do have the slight advantage of being 2000 times closer.

      Robots are smaller than humans.

      Except for the ones which are bigger.

      • by Max_W (812974)
        It means that satellite imagery of more or less good quality exists only for areas where there are a lot of well-to-do users, but not for, say, small towns in remote parts.

        Robots can be miniaturized even further. Humans can not.
      • by Max_W (812974)
        The distance is not the problem. There are telescopes already which make photos of planets around other stars.

        The problem, however, is the clouds and fog. But the telescope-HD camera can make photos of Earth at the areas where the air is clear on that day.
        • The distance is not the problem. There are telescopes already which make photos of planets around other stars.

          And those photos would be clearer get if we were 2000 times closer, like the satellites in LEO are than the moon.

          • by Max_W (812974)
            Satellites' orbits are unstable. They do not carry on board telescopes. I suggest to place on the Moon a large international telescope directed to the Earth.
    • Oh, also this:

      A robotized HD high-speed telescope-digital camera on the surface of the moon could provide nearly real time imagery of the whole Earth surface. It could be very useful for mapping Earth.

      No. It'd be imagery of half the surface, and you wouldn't be able to look at the other half until two weeks later.

      • by Max_W (812974)
        To weeks... I work now on a map of the town with a satellite imagery from 2010. And besides it is offset by about 100 meters at some spots.

        Two weeks is fine. Even two months is not that bad.
        • To weeks... I work now on a map of the town with a satellite imagery from 2010. And besides it is offset by about 100 meters at some spots.

          Newer imagery likely exists, but hasn't been licensed yet.

          And the moon would only be able to get consistent imagery of the tropics, because it can't look downwards on the high latitudes except during rare extreme phases.

  • by Begemot (38841) on Monday May 13, 2013 @03:06AM (#43707465) Homepage

    He's not Bowie, but he's pretty good

    OMG, you guys are a very tough crowd. To me he sang perfectly well!

  • Why couldn't they push the envelope and record the music on the ISS too?

  • by reovirus1 (722769) on Monday May 13, 2013 @06:46AM (#43708273)
    An astronaut and a rock star! Hope he doesn't try to run for Prime Minister next, that would be a downgrade.
  • I'm not a sappy emotional kind of guy, usually far from it, but that had me tearing up. He may not have the raw vocal talent that Bowie has, but he nailed it in every other respect. That's always been one of my favorite songs anyways, now even more so. I'm gonna have to see if I can get a copy somewhere.

  • by Skiron (735617) on Monday May 13, 2013 @09:33AM (#43709189) Homepage

    Unlike most people posting tripe in here, I was 10 years old when Bowie released this - it was fantastic (and I also think the first music video?).

    I am now 53, and this version is brilliant (and apt) - would I as a ten year old expect this to happen 43 years later? No way.

    Brilliant stuff.

  • Obviously nobody sent him the memo where Canadian scientists and public servants have to get approval for talking to the media [thestar.com] or even giving evidence to members of Parliament [winnipegfreepress.com]. All these pictures and videos - oh boy is he ever going to get it when he gets back to CSA HQ.

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