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Canadian astronaut's 'Space Oddity' video back on YouTube

OTTAWA: The first music video recorded in space — a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield — is back after a public outcry over its removal from YouTube.

Hadfield, who made the video in zero gravity during a five-month mission last year to the International Space Station, said on his website it is being made available online for free for two years.

It had originally been posted on YouTube for one year, and during the period was viewed 23,489,187 times. Hadfield estimates that with re-posts and re-broadcasts on television it may have been seen by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

An uproar followed its removal last May.

On his website, Hadfield said its removal “wasn’t anyone’s fault.” Rather, he said, it was simply part of the agreement reached in advance with Bowie and his publisher.

“The day we took the video down we started to work again to get permission to get it re-posted. But the legal process is careful and exacting, and thus takes time,” he added.

Notably there were novel legal issues to resolve, including whose copyright laws applied. The ISS was built by 15 countries and Hadfield floated over several nations while recording the five-minute clip.

Hadfield said a new two-year licensing agreement has now been reached over the video, which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo.

The former Cold War fighter pilot had captured the public’s imagination with regular updates on Twitter that gave an unprecedented insight into daily life in space and access to spectacular images taken from the International Space Station.

He retired in June 2013, one month after returning to Earth.

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