Retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, whose cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” went viral in May 2013, will release an entire album of songs he recorded while manning the International Space Station. Hadfield laid down the album’s guitar and vocal tracks while in orbit – “a human first,” according to the press release – with only his acoustic guitar and a computer. The album, called the “world’s first album in space,” will arrive later in the year, The Guardian reports.
“The serenity and grace I felt while orbiting our Earth, weightless by the window, gave a whole new place to write and perform music,” Hadfield, who retired as an astronaut in July 2013, said in a statement. “I’m delighted to be able to share these completed works as a new way to help tell the stories of early space exploration.”
Hadfield spent five months aboard the International Space Station in 2013 and spent his evenings playing acoustic guitar and recording. When he arrived back on Earth, he passed those recordings to producer Robbie Lackritz and enlisted unnamed special guests to add more instrumentation.
Hadfield’s “Space Oddity,” said to be the first music video ever filmed in space, has been viewed 25 million times and counting since the astronaut posted the video on YouTube in May 2013. Bowie himself praised Hadfield’s rendition as “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created” and allowed the video to be reposted onto YouTube after its one-year agreement expired, the Washington Post wrote. Hadfield also detailed his dealings with Bowie and the song itself in a post on his official site.