Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first man walking on the moon. Neil Armstrong and the crew of the Apollo 11 completed this awesome feat back in 1969 and, by some assessments, astronauts in the United States space program haven’t surpassed this achievement since. NASA is still trying to return humans to the moon, but before they get the funding, the Obama administration has put together a panel of independent space experts to evaluate the current condition of NASA’s human spaceflight program. The panel will make their recommendations at the end of the summer, but the federal deficit, and other programs like health care, will most likely get any available funding first. Although they may not get the necessary dollars anytime soon, NASA plans to eventually create a “moon base” that would allow astronauts to practice living on another planet, an experience that space crews would need before heading to explore other planets like Mars. According to NASA.gov, “As the space shuttle approaches retirement and the International Space Station nears completion, NASA is building the next fleet of vehicles to bring astronauts back to the moon, and possibly to Mars and beyond.”
Today’s Jam comes to us from David Bowie, who rushed the release of his single, “Space Oddity,” back in 1969 to coincide with the first man landing on the moon and all of the surrounding buzz and excitement. The exposure that the song received gave Bowie his first big hit when it reached the top five on the UK singles chart that fall. When Bowie re-emerged in 1972, as his androgynously flamboyant alter-ego, Ziggy Stardust, the album was re-released with the title “Space Oddity,” and a new video was included as part of the makeover.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of “Space Oddity,” Bowie is re-releasing the EP on iTunes along with a new “Space Oddity App” for the iPhone. The application allows you to create your own mixes of the song and save them. If you don’t want to bother with anything as complex as sliding faders you can just shake your iPhone and it will create a brand new mix for you. Although nobody could improve on the original, many have tried including Cat Power, who did a teaser of a cover of this song for Lexus (that could have been awesome had it been longer than 30 seconds), and Shiny Toy Guns, who released an excellent response song, “Major Tom,” in 2008.
David Bowie – Space Oddity: