While English musician David Bowie was the first to record the launch of fictional astronaut Major Tom in his song "Space Oddity," real-life Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield, gave Major Tom his first real taste of space this week, and fans are loving his recording better than the original.
The gravity defying video recorded on board the International Space Station was published by Commander Hadfield on YouTube on Sunday with much deference to Mr. Bowie.
"With deference to the genius of David Bowie, here's Space Oddity, recorded on Station. A last glimpse of the World," Hadfield tweeted with a link to the video.
While praising Bowie's original, fans who have watched Hadfield's video more than 12 million times since Sunday agreed that the Commander's version literally and figuratively took the song out of the stratosphere. A clip of David Bowie's 1969 original recording uploaded to YouTube seven years ago has only been viewed just under eight million times.
"This version is more emotional than David Bowie's version. It's amazing to watch Bowie's version of 'space' in his video, and to actually see an astronaut literally in space, singing his song 44 years later... wow," noted WizardPlayMC, in the comments section of the video on Thursday.
"Who says scientists have to be boring braniacs all the time? This man certainly is not a geek or a nerd. Great Stuff!" said Philip Lewis of the video.
Commander Hadfield, who returned to earth on Tuesday, also tweeted other cool stuff like an amazing shot of Africa's southwest corner from outer space.
His first tweet on his return was: "Safely home – back on Earth, happily readapting to the heavy pull of gravity. Wonderful to smell and feel Spring."
Hadfield continues to reacquaint himself with life on earth. On Wednesday, he tweeted: "Return to Gravity, so many things. It is strange to talk and feel the weight of my lips and tongue! Dizzy too – would fail any sobriety test."
He also recently tweeted a medical update on his condition from the Canadian Space Agency's flight surgeon, Raffi Kuyumjian.
"Spaceflight is a good model for accelerated aging," wrote Kuyumjian. "Today Chris feels like he's an old man! He sometimes shuffles his feet when he walks, he is sore in his back, has difficulty walking around corners and sometimes hits the corners! He feels dizzy and finds it challenging to walk up or down stairs. His manual dexterity is a bit off."
"Although he does not feel it, his hip and back bones are not as dense as before his flight since they lost calcium in weightlessness… This is similar but not as severe as the osteoporosis that affects the elderly, since Chris will likely recover most of that bone density loss in about a year. Scientists are using Chris as a subject for their science experiments in order to collect data to better understand these effects and how to treat them, which will be important for our aging population," he further noted.