David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 after an 18 month battle with cancer Sunday. The artist's musical legacy spans generations and even defies gravity. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield covered Bowie's iconic "Space Oddity" while serving as commander aboard the International Space Station. After the news of Bowie's passing, Hadfield, British astronaut Tim Peake and the European Space Agency (ESA) paid tribute to the Starman on Twitter.
Hadfield recorded his cover of "Space Oddity" while floating in space. Hadfield launched to the space Station on Dec. 19, 2012 for Expedition 34/25. The six-month mission would be the Canadian Space Agency astronaut's final spaceflight. Hadfield brought his acoustic guitar with him to space where he would record an album in between science investigations and other duties.
Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman. pic.twitter.com/FbcxlAzces
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) January 11, 2016
Hadfield took over as Expedition 35 Commander in March 2013. His time in charge of the space station was best remembered for the viral nature of his videos explaining what life was like for an astronaut in space.
Whether it was wringing out water from a towel, washing one's hands or crying in space, Hadfield's videos from space generated millions of views on Earth. Hadfield's Twitter was also incredibly popular. As Hadfield's time in space drew to a close, the astronaut released one final video. Fittingly, Hadfield chose "Space Oddity," which has amassed more than 27 million views. The song also sparked curiosity regarding how copyright worked in space. Hadfield added "Rest in peace, Starman," after Bowie's death.
"The Bowie video is kind of a bizarre example of it [increased awareness and renewed interest in science and space], in that if you show them that this is not just a place to do research but also a place to think a little more about ourselves culturally, to see this perspective of ourselves and our place in our own developments here in the world, through the eyes of our cameras it brings us a perspective that's hard to get any other way and the reaction to that has been huge," Hadfield said of the impact of "Space Oddity" in a 2013 interview with International Business Times.
Saddened to hear David Bowie has lost his battle with cancer – his music was an inspiration to many. @DavidBowieReal
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) January 11, 2016
Bowie's death was also felt in space. European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake is a noted music lover currently aboard the space station. Peake previously tweeted out lyrics to songs and mentioned his fondness for bands such as Coldplay and Snow Patrol. Peake paid tribute to Bowie on Twitter Monday noting the musician's legacy. ESA retweeted Peake's message along with lyrics to "Space Oddity."
The stars look very different today. Sad news. https://t.co/NVAPtHn8ch
— ESA (@esa) January 11, 2016