On May 13, Hadfield thumped down in Kazakhstan after a five-month stint aboard the ISS, and made a contribution to the space program that went well beyond the experiments he oversaw in orbit and the simple business of helping to keep the whole football-field-sized vehicle flying. Before turning over the conn, he recorded his now-viral
on-board performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,”
which totaled 6.6 million views in the first 24 hours after he posted it on his dedicated channel, helped earn Hadfield nearly 1 million Twitter followers, and won the most important thumbs-up of all, from Bowie himself: “It’s possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created,” applauded the original Major Tom on his
Facebook
page.