Categorized | Features, Media, National

Space Oddity: The International Space Station’s Viral Video

 

Ground Control to Major Tom

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Canadian astronaut and Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield just finished his five-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Stationship (ISS) this Monday.

During that time he sent out a flurry of songs, thousands of snapshots and tweets, and other social media beamed directly from outer space to Earth.

And this is what he also did:  a rendition of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”  Since its posting this Sunday, it’s been viewed more than 14 million times.  Even Bowie has been retweeting it.

This music video took months in the making:  With Bowie’s approval, copyright permissions, and NASA signing off, the song’s lyrics were tweaked to reflect Hadfield’s return from the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz craft.  His son, Evan, worked diligently on the production, too.  From Earth.

ISS“Lock your Soyuz hatch and put your helmet on,” Hadfield sings in the video.  After showing scenes of Hadfield strumming on his guitar and gazing soulfully out the station’s windows in zero gravity, the video winds up with a Soyuz parachuting down to its landing– which is exactly how Hadfield returned four days ago.

Why did he do it?  Commander Hadfield said he wanted to do a different kind of farewell video than others have done, and using social media as a platform.  It was an emotional send off.

“Who’d have thought that five months away from the
planet would make you feel closer to people?” he asked.

“Not closer because I miss them, just closer because seeing an experience this way, and being able to share it through all the media we use, has allowed me to get a direct reflection immediately back from so many people,” Hadfield said.

“It makes me feel like I’m actually with people more– that we’re having a conversation.  This experience isn’t individual; it’s shared and it’s worldwide,” he said.

ISS2Indeed.  You can see the International Space Station from Humboldt.

It’s easy if you know where and when to look for it.  The ISS is the third brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon.  You can’t miss it because it looks like an incredibly bright, fast-moving star.

Just remember there are people up there, an international crew of seven living for months at a time in a station, which, with its solar arrays out, is about the size of a football field.

Built in pieces and weighing in at over 4,000 tons, it has more livable room than a conventional five-bedroom house, with two bathrooms, a gymnasium, and a 360-degree bay window.

It’s been up there for 12 years now and has traveled more than 1.5 billion miles, or the equivalent of eight round trips to the Sun.  It’s made 57,000 orbits around the Earth traveling at 17,500 miles per hour.  That’s five miles per second.

ISS3110 years following the Wright Brother’s first flight, 204 individuals have visited the Space Station via rockets and shuttles, taking a total of 164 space walks outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

What a long, strange trip it’s been, Major Tom.

 

 

(For the best picture definition, see the video at the full-screen setting)

2 Responses to “Space Oddity: The International Space Station’s Viral Video”

  1. Raj says:

    While I am a space buff as well, I don’t see us leveraging a small handfull of astronauts into a significant position of strength or advancement in either space science or anything else. We must also add the fact that the Russians, using their monopoly power of space transport, now charge over $60 million per seat to fly into space.

    The problem is we have no real vision of why we need a manned space program at all, so the money is spent for its own sake (it is not an investment) and the lack of vision means a lack of true supporters.

    Now if we were to go big in space we might revive something like the The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of WWII and build a facility where astronauts form all over the world would come to train. Developing a training plan and facilities that would attract Indian, French and private astronauts to fly things like Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two would be a great investment and a worthwhile use of our money.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] It’s a long, long way from home. [...]


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Want to hide a government trip? Just classify it
    Peter Van Buren, Firedog Lake - The GAO learned that Robert Mueller and Eric Holder decided on their own that the intelligence agency exemption also applied to them. With income tax season in the U.S., all thoughts turn to cheating.The Government Accounting Office works directly for the Congress. In a recent report to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the GAO […]
  • Pee for power
    SalonThe average person urinates seven times per day, and it is hard not to think of the bodily fluid as waste. But to scientists at NASA and the University of Puerto Rico, one person’s pee could be that same person’s refreshing glass of water — and power supply. A newly developed filtration system has the capability of turning urine into water and create el […]
  • High suicide rate for male farmers
    Rural BlogMale farmers are four times more likely to attempt suicide than men in other professions, Max Kutner reports for Newsweek  magazine, which recently revived its print edition. "For decades, farmers across the country have been dying by suicide at higher rates than the general population. The exact numbers are hard to determine, mainly because s […]
  • FBI challenges NSA in race against Constitution
    EngadgetIf you thought that the NSA wanted too much personal information, just wait a few months. The EFF is reporting that the FBI's new facial recognition database, containing data for almost a third of the US population, will be ready to launch this summer. Codenamed NGI, the system combines the bureau's 100 million-strong fingerprint database w […]
  • Furthermore
    The earlier you fly, the better chance your plane will be on time73% support a higher minimum wage […]
  • Boston doctors can now prescribe bike share
    Fast CompanyOne of the biggest hurdles new public bike-share programs face is the problem of social inclusion. For a large part, the programs, which have popped up in cities from New York to Austin in recent years, aren't gaining major traction with low-income communities.Boston, however, has taken an aggressive approach to making sure that everyone, re […]
  • Word: Ukraine
    Richard BrennemanIf the U.S. is really consumed by the need to get all aggressive over massive human rights abuses, then why aren't we threatening Saudi Arabia, where women can't drive and are subjected to arbitrary whims of a religious paramilitary police -- the same zealots who forced a dozen girls to burn to deathsimply because they tried to fle […]
  • Doctors favor pot legalization
    AlterNetThe website WebMD this month revealed results of a survey of 1,544 doctors from more than 12 specialties in at least 48 states.Fifty-six percent said it should be medically legal. An even higher number, 67 percent, said it should be a medical option. A whopping 69 percent agree that marijuana could be effective in treating certain ailments.About 52 p […]
  • Kerry falls for Ukrainian hoax
    GuardianThe barricades that mark the entrance to the "Donetsk People's Republic" are plastered with anti-fascist posters, including an American flag with a swastika in place of the stars. The pro-Russian protestors who have set up their own government in the occupied administration building see the new Kiev regime as dominated by intolerant Uk […]
  • San Diego disses the Constitution 150,000 times against welfare recipients
    Public Interest Law ProjectSince 1997, San Diego County has required all families applying for welfare to submit to warrantless, suspicionless, unannounced home searches and interrogations by District Attorney investigatorso.  As of June 2013 about 150,000 families, or about 9,300 families each year, have been subject to these searches. This policy, called P […]
  • What offshore tax havens are costing you
    US PIRG - the average American taxpayer in 2013 would have to shoulder an extra $1,259 in state and federal taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the use of offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals. “Average taxpayers and small business owners foot the bill for offshore tax dodging. Every dollar in taxes companies avoid by booking p […]
  • Word: An Atlanta mother writes Barack Obama about testing
    Washington Post - The policies currently promoted by your Department of Education are actually hurting – not helping– schools like ours. It is clear we will reduce schools’ efficacy if public education remains fixated on tests that only measure limited concepts – tests that regularly relegate less advantaged children into the “bottom half” and limit their ac […]
  • Government highway trust fund almost broke
    Washington Examiner - On the road in a tour bus this week, the U.S. transportation secretary is spreading some bad news: The government's Highway Trust Fund is nearly broke. If allowed to run dry, that could set back or shut down projects across the country, force widespread layoffs of construction workers and delay needed repairs and improvements.Antho […]
  • Jazz break
    John Pizzarelli plays "I Got Rythmn […]
  • Gravestones of note
    And the epitaph of Dr. Fred Roberts in Pine Log Cemetery, Brookland, Ark.:OFFICE UP STAIRS […]