Astronaut Chris Hadfield Debuts Song From Space

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Expedition 34 crew members pose for a photograph in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station. Pictured on the front row are NASA astronaut Kevin Ford (right), commander; and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, flight engineer. Pictured on the back row (from the left) are NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko, all flight engineers. Image: NASA.

Expedition 34 crew members pose for a photograph in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station. Pictured on the front row are NASA astronaut Kevin Ford (right), commander; and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, flight engineer. Pictured on the back row (from the left) are NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy, Evgeny Tarelkin and Roman Romanenko, all flight engineers. Image: NASA.

Before he left for the International Space Station, Hadfield wrote a song with Barenaked Ladies singer Ed Robertson.

It’s called I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?). Of course, ISS can also stand for “International Space Station,” which is fitting since the song is about what it’s like to leave the Earth and go into space.

Hadfield has done some incredible things during his time on the ISS. He has made his experience in space accessible to the people on Earth. He has tweeted messages, conducted live media conferences, sent photos and kept people up-to-date on what the astronauts on the Space Station are doing.

What Hadfield is doing is unique. No astronaut has ever brought space so close to Earth before.

It’s an unbelievable opportunity for people on Earth to get a better understanding of what astronauts do when they’re in space.

Here’s what Hadfield told CBC interviewer Jian Ghomeshi about why he’s so passionate about helping earthlings to understand his space journey (the video for this interview is below):

“This is something not only personally amazing to be part of, but it is a new thing within the human experience. And it’s way too good of an experience to keep to myself. It’s something that I think is really important to share. Ever since my first space flight, 17 years ago, I’ve been trying to describe to people just how incredible it is to see our world this way, and what it means to us as a species to start leaving Earth. And now I have the time–this isn’t a shuttle assembly flight–this is living in space and so I have the time to try and share it with everyone. And so I’m doing everything I can to ensure that people really get a sense of what it means and what it’s like.”

Hadfield and Robertson’s song, I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing?), was recorded in the CBC studios (by Robertson and the Wexford Collegiate Gleeks, on Earth) and by Hadfield, in space. It debuted on the CBC Radio program, Q.

Hadfield wrote some of the lyrics and Robertson wrote the melody and some of the lyrics for the song, ISS. Hadfield told Ghomeshi that:

“I think the song does a really nice job of talking about the wonder of (space travel) and some of the science of it; but also, thinking about what it means psychologically to be here and what it’s going to mean in the future for people that are living away from Earth and moving away from Earth.”

The video below, on the CBC website, is the song as it debuted last week, with Hadfield doing his part from space. (Note: there is a 30-second ad, ie, for Scotiabank, before the clip comes on.)

 

The YouTube video below, is of Hadfield and Robertson working on the song before Hadfield went into space.

On May 6,  schoolchildren across Canada will be singing the song as part of the annual event, “Music Monday.” The event is organized by the Coalition for Music Education.

Here is an interview by the CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi (on earth) with Hadfield (in space). 9:32. (There is an ad for Luminosity at the front of this clip.)

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Before listening to Jian Ghomeshi’s interview with Chris Hadfield, write a list of questions you think Ghomeshi will ask.

Now listen to the interview.

Did you predict most of the questions? Do you still have some unanswered questions? If so, how could you find out the answers?

Reading Prompt: Analysing Texts
Listen to the song created and performed by Chris Hadfield and Ed Robertson.

What did you learn from listening to the song that you didn’t already know?

Why do you think Chris Hadfield chose to share this information in a song instead of through an article or an interview?

Primary
Identify specific elements of texts and explain how they contribute to the meaning of the texts (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Junior
Analyse texts and explain how various elements in them contribute to meaning (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Intermediate 
Analyse a variety of texts, both simple and complex, and explain how the different elements in them contribute to meaning and influence the reader’s reaction (OME, Reading: 1.7).

Grammar Feature: Proper Nouns
A noun is a person, place or thing. A proper noun is a specific person, place or thing, such as Australia, Barack Obama and Disneyland.

Read through this article and circle all of the proper nouns. What do you notice about how they are written?