Chris Haddfiel’s Space Odyssey

Posted by Norma Spathonis on

I saw this great video today. It was of now retired astronaut Chris Haddfield performing of all things, the David Bowie classic, “Space Odyssey”. It would have been ironic enough to just have an astronaut performing this piece, but it was furthered in irony by the fact that Mr Haddfield was floating in space while he performed the piece! He shot footage of himself performing the song on the international space station! It was awesome to see such a feat! He was playing the guitar weightless! He did not need a guitar strap that was pretty phenomenal to see! The guitar just floated up to him and he kept it near his chest just by playing it. It then cut to scenes of him free floating and spinning in the air while singing the song. The song was obviously cut and looped at different intervals but it was very nice to see it nonetheless. What was intriguing to me was a change in lyrics that was made by Chris Haddfield. He took off the part of, “Ground Control to Major Tong, the circuit’s dead, there is something wrong!” and other parts. I figured he did this as a gesture of keeping his space flight positive. He did not want in any way to jinx his current stint in space by even singing the words, “Ground Control….something wrong!” I probably wouldn’t want to make statements like that in the vacuum of space either!

Chris Haddfield is a great guy for doing this though. Before I saw the video clip I had actually heard about it in an NPR radio clip interview with Terri Gross on the WFYI program fresh air. It was really cool to hear him describe the process that went into the making of this you tube video. He said that weightlessness tended to make his voice nasally. The lack of gravity caused all the phlegm to build in his throat and nose as he sang. Yeah, maybe a bit nasally, but he still did a stellar job.