Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ISS: A Space Oddity

Click the arrow to watch on YouTube astronaut Chris Hadfield's rendition of “Space Oddity.”

Before his departure yesterday from the International Space Station, Renaissance Man and Canadian astronaut Chris Hafield posted on YouTube his version of David Bowie's Space Oddity. In two days, it already has over six million views. He has over 900,000 followers on Twitter, sending tweets throughout his work day. Hadfield even uploaded photos during the May 11 spacewalk. He's also recorded sounds on board the ISS and posted them on SoundCloud.

Hadfield is arguably the most accessible astronaut ever while in space.

But lost in all the social media hype was a BBC News interview published May 12 in which Hadfield had blunt words for those who think the ISS is a waste of time and that the world's spacefaring nations immediately should head for the Moon or Mars.

BBC News science correspondent Pallab Ghosh wrote:

His argument is that the construction and utilisation of the ISS will lead to the development of technologies that will eventually enable humanity to leave Earth and settle on other worlds. But that process will be a slow and incremental one.

And he has this to say to those who want things to move much faster: "It's just an uninformed lack of patience and lack of understanding of complexity and a desire to be amused and entertained that builds a false set of expectations."

Read the article for similar impolitic remarks.

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