Sciences Marries Art: Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield to Play Music From Space

Apparently, science isn’t the only thing astronauts do at the International Space Station.

Sometimes they find time for a little art as well.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has co-wrote a song with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, which they will play together at first, and then with the rest of the band and an entire children’s choir on a later date. The unsung hero of the piece will be the transmission infrastructure, designed to perfectly synchronize a transmission that must travel a minimum of 600 kilometres.

Entitled “I.S.S.”—for Is Somebody Singing, not the International Space Station—the song will premier in March as part of CBC’s Music Mondays program, and again in May after the students have had a chance to learn the piece. commisioned the piece in collaboration with The Coalition for Music Education. This not the first time music has been played from space, but it is the most elaborate endeavour by far.



“I want to communicate the incredible experience of being in space—what it’s like to launch on a rocket and live on the International Space Station,” Hadfield told CBC News. “But Ed and I think that the real satisfaction will come from performing this song with thousands of young people across Canada for Music Monday, connecting the Space Station to Earth through music.”

This will be Hadfield’s third trip in space, having spent time on Mir in 1995 and the ISS in 2001, where he carried out two space-walks. Hadfield will be on the ISS for six months, during which he will become the first Canadian to command the space station in the entirety of it’s 14-year existence.

Remember how cool it was when Alan Shepard played golf on the moon? Neither do I, but I bet this will come close.