Astronaut Ends Space Mission With Bowie Classic

Astronaut Ends Space Mission With Bowie Classic

On the eve of his return to Earth after nearly five months on board the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has recorded his own version of David Bowie's Space Oddity.

The Canadian commander, who has been described by Twitter followers as the "coolest guy in outer space", posted a five-minute clip on YouTube in which he performs the 1969 classic.

It shows the 53-year-old singing with unexpected dulcet tones and strumming his guitar while floating in the cabin of the space station.

David Bowie's version of Space Oddity was used by the BBC as part of its coverage of the Apollo 11 moon landings in 1969.

Produced with the help of staff at the Canadian Space Agency and others, the cover features a piano intro and modified lyrics that reference the Soyuz capsule that is due to return Hadfield to Kazakhstan today.

Cmdr Hadfield starts singing: "Ground control to Major Tom ... Ground control to Major Tom ... Lock your Soyuz hatch and put your helmet on."

When he gets to the words "and I'm floating in a most peculiar way" he can be seen floating in mid-air in zero gravity while breathtaking views of Earth are visible from the space station's windows.

Cmdr Hadfield, who already has a dedicated Twitter following of more than 770,000, has attracted global adoration for his musical stint - as well as praise from Bowie himself, who tweeted "Hallo Spaceboy".

Cmdr Hadfield became the first Canadian to command the ISS in March. He is handing the reins of the expedition to fellow astronaut Pavel Vinogradov of Russia.

During his time on the mission, Hadfield and his team had to make a rare, hastily planned spacewalk to fix a serious ammonia leak.

At the time, Cmdr Hadfield tweeted from inside: "Gloved fingers crossed." Half an hour later he wrote: "No leaks!"