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| June 24, 2017

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Chris Hadfield’s Space Oddity: An Ode to Awesomeness!

Chris Hadfield’s Space Oddity: An Ode to Awesomeness!
Jason Leci

“This is ground control to Major Tom, you’ve really made the grade.”

Every once in a while, there comes along a video which touches your heart’s chords — and the whole world has been witness to one in recent days. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is anything but the restricted and secretive kind we perceive astronauts to be. During his time aboard the ISS, the man has made videos to quench our never-ending inquisitiveness about how the most basic of things work in space. But the final act of awe-inspiring beastliness was executed just before his imminent return to Earth.

On May 12th, Chris Hadfield’s rendition of David Bowie’s 1969 classic “Space Oddity” was uploaded to YouTube, and the video instantly went viral — it garnered over 10 million views within just 3 days. As I write this, the view count is about to reach 14 million! Using a Canadian Larrivée guitar for his acoustic riffs, Hadfield did complete justice to the past classic.

So what exactly made this video tick?! I mean on the face of it, it is just another cover of an old song. Well, the reasons are listed below –

  • It was sung in weightlessness; nothing cooler than a floating guitar!
  • Chris Hadfield knows his music.
  • Paucity of good viral videos on YouTube lately…
  • Extensive preparation behind the scenes (elaborated below)

A lot of hard work went into producing this cover made in zero gravity. During a planning and preparation span of six months, Hadfield collaborated with Emm Gryner (piano), Joe Corcoran (composition with ambient sounds of ISS) and Andrew Tidby (direction) to bring the whole thing to life.

 

 

Now it is true that like any other viral video before it, this one will reign the web for its shelf life and make way for some other. But the simplicity and authenticity of the whole concept just puts you at ease while watching without the curiosity quotient ever taking a dip. If indeed there is an extra-terrestrial life looking to make contact, us humans should thank Commander Hadfield for making our species look better than it really is. And I don’t know about others, but for me, this is exactly what human spirit and endeavor stands for, and I would be more than proud to brag about it to our coming generations.

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