Chris Hadfield sings Bowie's 'Space Oddity' in ISS farewell

In one of the coolest zero-g cover songs ever recorded, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield does a heartfelt rendition of David Bowie's classic before returning to Earth.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
2 min read
Chris Hadfield
Floating in a tin can: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sings Bowie. Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

How do you top months of amazing photos, demos, and tunes done aboard the International Space Station? If you're Chris Hadfield, you cover David Bowie's "Space Oddity" in a showstopping finale.

On the eve of his return to Earth, the Canadian astronaut released a beautifully done video of himself singing the 1969 classic.

Mixed with the help of staff at the Canadian Space Agency, musician Emm Gryner, and others, the cover features a somber piano intro and modified lyrics that reference the Soyuz capsule that will return Hadfield to Kazakhstan.

When the mustachioed commander sings "I'm floating in a most peculiar way" while actually floating up in space, Hadfield wins the Internet, as one commenter suggests.

The video, meanwhile, has some stunning shots of the station zooming over our planet, as well as Hadfield's acoustic guitar drifting through a module in zero-g. Check it out below.

Hadfield handed over command of the station on Sunday to Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov. He commended its six-person crew, which organized an unexpected spacewalk on Saturday to repair an ammonia coolant leak.

Organized with unprecedented speed, the spacewalk by Americans Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn replaced an ammonia pump on the station's P6 truss, and they reported seeing no more ammonia flakes coming from the area. Ammonia is used to cool the solar panels powering the ISS.

Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko will board the Soyuz spacecraft on Monday evening with Hadfield, who has spent five months on the ISS.

During that time, Hadfield has shown Earthlings how to play guitar in zero-g, safely clip one's fingernails, and even how to cook spinach.

In the process, and along with his eye-popping photos of Earth, Hadfield has become an Internet sensation, conducting Twitter conversations with fellow Canadian spaceman William Shatner--much to the delight of the former's 770,000 followers.

We'll be following Hadfield's reentry on Monday. Meanwhile, here's his version of "Space Oddity."