All my life, since I was a kid, I’ve been reading that in 10 years, 20 years, whenever, space tourism will be commonplace.

The promise
The promise

From a moon-based resort, to cheap jaunts on Virgin Galactic, it’s been the travel tease that never goes away, but never seems to get nearer. I regard it as a betrayal of my youthful dreams by science itself! Where’s my space travel??! The Space Shuttle was meant to be going up a couple of times a week at this stage, but instead it’s rusting in the Smithsonian.

Commander Chris Hadfield has had command of the International Space Station for the past five months, and has become a twitter cult figure with his beautiful selection of daily photos of Earth from his unrivalled vantage point

His daughter studies in Trinity College Dublin, and has become a semi-celebrity in her own right in the Irish media on foot of his enthusiastic tweeting of the majesty of all that is natural and man made on and above the Earth.

Today marks his departure on Soyuz from the ISS.  He marked his departure by producing the extraordinary video below – the Commander himself performing David Bowie’s Space Oddity, on the ISS.  You may have seen it already: over 1 million people have at the time of writing.

Undoubtedly, Commander Hadfield performed important scientific and research work whilst on the ISS, unfathomable to my mind.

However, why the world has taken him to its heart is because he took the pictures and the videos we would take as space tourists – from places we know and love, to remarkable scenery and space vistas, to videos of us singing a song about being in space…. whilst being in space.

He brought us closer to that dream of space tourism than all the futuristic forecasts ever have. 

Maybe we’ll get there yet.  In 10 years, 20 years…… whenever.