When Researching Aliens

Best to look at the problem from the other side. Not aliens on earth—earthlings in space!

By far the most memorable version of Space Oddity for me is the one recorded by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield during his long sojourn aboard the International Space Station. The lyrics are somewhat different from the original, and so is the singing (no topping David Bowie’s vocals). The Hadfield version is all about the video.

How I do remember my sons, four and six years old, huddled around the computer, transfixed by the man aloft in space, earth lit up blue behind his windows onto the world! Not many days later the four year old, lying back in his warm bath, sang in perfect pitch: ‘Heeeere, am I, floating in my tin can…. Faaaar above the world.’

Time goes fast. Now here am I researching aliens for his year eight birthday book. Maybe this—Ziggy Stardust, rock star messenger for alien beings—is more appropriate.

As for the original Space Oddity, I recommend skipping the original and heading straight to 1972.


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