The moment that Chris Hadfield went from being a Canadian astronaut to a pop cultural icon was May 12, 2013, when the first music video shot in space went online with Hadfield singing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" in zero gravity on board the International Space Station.
But a year later, after about 22 million YouTube views, the video was pulled because there was only a one-year license for the rights.
This prompted the Ottawa Citizen to publish a scathing op-ed blaming Bowie for its removal. Now the newspaper is saying sorry to the iconic singer and his fans for being "incorrect."
"The commentary published by the Citizen also erroneously implied that Mr. Bowie was the reason the video had to be removed from YouTube and questioned how his actions could have 'made the world a better place.' The article caused an immediate reaction by thousands of fans worldwide, and this incorrect information was picked up by hundreds of other news sources around the world."
Turns out that Bowie never had the rights to that particular song, despite writing it, but did tell the publishing company that does own the copyright that he supported the song's use by Hadfield. According to the Citizen now, "Mr. Bowie strongly suggested that the licence be immediately issued at no charge and that the creation of this video had his enthusiastic support."
But while that clarifies whose fault it is for the song being taken down, the good news is that when Hadfield tweeted the Citizen apology, he added that "Space Oddity will be back online soon."