High above the surface of the earth, between 330 km (205 mi) and 435 km (270 mi), orbited a wonder of human exploration. Completing 15.7 orbits each day, the International Space Station was a marvel that could be seen from earth under the right conditions. Once again, it is social media that has brought this marvel of humanity to the mobile phone, tablet or computer screen of any earthling that cared to look.
The hot topic of the moment is Commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who lived in space aboard the ISS. He just returned to earth safely a few hours ago. Earlier this year, the Commander of the International Space Station orbiting earth, Chris Hadfield, spoke to the Captain of the USS Enterprise, James Tiberius Kirk, in an epic exchange once thought impossible when Star Trek first aired on September 8, 1966. They talked about the future of space travel, fears and emotions, and they also found time to joke around a bit.
You can view the exchange between these two men on YouTube (Chris Hadfield and William Shatner connect an CSA tweetup). I suggest you take a look since it is a very revealing and open conversation by a man who has a very unique outlook on the world.
So just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better than that, have a look at the clip below. This is probably the first time a music video has been recorded in space. If you are a Bowie fan, ONLY one song comes to mind. The absolute epic nature of Chris Hadfield’s fond farewell through Space Oddity is something so beautiful, set against the backdrop of something so meaningful.
I have seen grown men brought to tears by beauty before (Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing for example), but this version of Space Oddity moves a person on another level. It is as if Bowie’s song was written for this moment. It only needed a man in space to perform it with the planet earth as a blue backdrop.