Space Oddity

Commander Chris Hadfield:  Space Oddity

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

Nartist:  Commander Chris Hadfield of the International Space Station

songwriter:  David Bowie

date released:  2013 by Chris Hadfield

Commander Chris Hadfield of the International Space Station was the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space.  As a former RCAF fighter pilot, Hadfield flew two space shuttle missions and served as capsule communication and commander of the International Space Station (ISS).  

On May 12, 2013, Commander Hatfield turned over command of the ISS and returned safely to Earth aboard the Soyuz spacecraft on May 13, 2013.

 Canada's superstar astronaut was born in Sarnia, Ontario.  Hadfield was raised on a corn farm in southern Ontario and became interested in flying at a young age, and he came to the idea of being an astronaut when he was nine on the day of Apollo moon landing, which he had seen on TV then. He is married to his high-school girlfriend Helene, and they have three adult children together.

 Adding to his already glowing curriculum vitae, Hadfield liked to sing.  His musical prowess was noticed by Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies where they collaborated on the song, "Is Somebody Singing?" 

At first, when David Bowie, the original songwriter/performer of Space Oddity, was approached by producer Em Gryner about the space video project, there was some apprehension.  Bowie responded positively, and he gave his blessings enthusiastically. He said, "The idea sounds thrilling, and you should go for it."  The rest is history.

 A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfield's many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy and was inducted into Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame.  Already the recipient of numerous awards and special honours, Chris Hadfield "made the grade" in appearing in this songbook.  As the editor, I can't tell you how proud I am of this true renaissance man who just happens to be Canadian!

 It is the mark of a truly extraordinary person when he takes his talents from outer space onto Sesame Street.  Really — how cool is this video?   Hope you kids will watch this, smile, and dream of flying to the moon with their ambitions.