Soon to be mission commander, Colonel Chris Hadfield (presently orbiting Earth on the International Space Station), performs "I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)" with Ed Robertson, the Barenaked Ladies band and Scarborough's acclaimed Wexford Gleeks choir at the CBC studios in Toronto.
The song was composed by Hadfield and Robertson in partnership with Music Monday, CBC Music and the Canadian Space Agency. Their composition explores what it is like to look down on the Earth from space.
There are echoes here of the late Dr. Carl Sagan's, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. The book's title was taken from that of a photograph of planet Earth captured in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a record distance of about six billion kilometers (or 3.7 billion miles) from Earth.
In the photograph, Earth is shown as a tiny dot (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space. Voyager 1 had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System behind forever when it was directed by NASA to turn and to take a photograph of Earth, at Dr. Sagan's request.
I was in need of "a small happy" when I saw this for the first time a few days ago, and the performance made me happy all over, so I am sharing it this morning. I am about to read Carl's book again this week. It has been years since he departed earthly life, but I still miss his wisdom and thoughtfulness, his eloquence and sense of wonder, his joy and humor. Such a mind does not come along often.