In a little over an hour, International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will undock from the station inside a Russian Soyuz capsule and return to Earth with two of his fellow ISS residents, landing on the Kazahk steppe at 7:30 pm PDT.
During his 5-month stay as Station Commander on the orbital outpost, Chris Hadfield has given Earth-bound humans unprecedented inside looks at station life and a daily stream of breathtaking photographs from orbit, via twitter, youtube, video chats and other social media channels.
Commander Hadfield is a musician, and on May 12, 2013 he published the first music video from space, shot on the International Space Station. It is a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and I am not ashamed to admit that it brought tears to my eyes. As of this writing, the video has already been viewed 1.3 million times.
And here, from the Summer of Love Era and the year that saw the first human walk on the moon, is the original music video for "Space Oddity" featuring a 22-year-old David Bowie who had just written the song.
I have always considered David Bowie an artist who symbolizes the rise of the space age, especially once I understood that "Space Oddity" pays homage to legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's 1968 rendition on the big screen of Arthur C. Clarke's novel "2001 - A Space Odyssey". Bowie's visionary artistic genius has now come full circle. Amplified by Chris Hadfield's unique creativity from the ISS, "Space Oddity" has transformed from metaphor into reality as more and more people are becoming aware, viral-video-style, that humans stand on the threshold of claiming their future among the stars. Pop culture doesn't get any better than this.