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Hadfield’s Space Oddity may return to YouTube

Former Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is promising a return of his popular video rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

Chris Hadfield/NASA/Associated Press

Former astronaut Chris Hadfield is promising an imminent return of his popular video rendition of David Bowie's Space Oddity, which he had removed from YouTube last month for licensing reasons.

"Our Oddity will be back online soon," the retired Canadian flier posted on Twitter Wednesday morning.

The tweet gave no further details and Mr. Hadfield's son, Evan, who has managed his social media accounts, was coy when contacted.

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"Sorry, but we're not taking interviews on Space Oddity at the moment," he wrote in answer to a Twitter query from The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Hadfield performed the song while in orbit during a five-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

The video was viewed more than 22.4 million times on YouTube, but it was removed on May 14 because he had permission for only a year.

Mr. Hadfield has previously said he was working on renewing the licence for the video.

The rights to the 1969 song are held by Essex Music Group, an employee at the British publishing house confirmed.

The song's publisher for North America is Essex's New York-based parent company, The Richmond Organization. A TRO representative did not immediately answer a request for comment.

The latest tweet from Mr. Hadfield also mentioned an unusually lengthy correction that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, apologizing to Mr. Bowie.

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The correction followed a commentary piece in the Citizen that incorrectly blamed the British singer for refusing to renew the one-year licence.

Mr. Hadfield commanded Expedition 35, the second leg of a five-month ISS flight that launched in December, 2012, and returned to Earth in May, 2013. He retired from the Canadian Space Agency in June.

The version of Space Oddity that the astronaut performed was slightly changed from the original. Its lyrics were amended to allude to his Russian Soyuz spacecraft and to end the song on an positive note.

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About the Author
National reporter

Tu Thanh Ha is based in Toronto and writes frequently about judicial, political and security issues. He spent 12 years as a correspondent for the Globe and Mail in Montreal, reporting on Quebec politics, organized crime, terror suspects, space flights and native issues. More


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