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Astronaut Chris Hadfield records first song in space, shares holiday tweets aboard the ISS

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chris hadfield ISS guitar
chris hadfield ISS guitar

In a Reddit "ask me anything" session earlier this month, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield opened up about life in space, and said he plans to "deliberately mentally get away" from his normal duties by playing guitar and spending "some time to truly appreciate what is actually happening — to me, and in history." He also promised to record a song aboard the International Space Station, and he's done just that; yesterday, Hadfield uploaded "Jewel in the Night," an original recording, to Soundcloud and YouTube. The guitar has been aboard the ISS since 2001, and multiple astronauts have used it aboard the space station. At this moment, Hadfield is floating somewhere over the Mediterranean, playing Christmas carols.

"The best part is that the guitar floats in front of you."

In his AMA, Hadfield describes the challenge of playing in space. "The space station is noisy, as the fans and pumps have to move the air to keep us alive," he writes. "So it sounds like playing in the back of a bus." There's also weightlessness to deal with, and Hadfield says that he had to re-learn the bar chord as a result. But there are some advantages. "The best part is that the guitar floats in front of you," Hadfield writes. "You don't need a strap!"

When he's not recording new songs or tweeting, Hadfield will perform a series of scientific experiments aboard the ISS, and will take control of the station in March. In the meantime, he's got plenty to share with the rest of the world, including these festive holiday photos: