It’s a lonely life being an astronaut. Up there, in a rotating ring of hard plastic and metal, spinning at 17,000 miles per hour, just so you can float a bit, do loads of maths and eat more powdered eggs and fruit gel than you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. Every once in awhile, however, our curious cosmonauts reach out to the great and the good back home, for an interstellar meeting of minds. Here’s five cosmic collaborations to make you ponder the great black waste of outer space.
David Bowie’s work has often referenced space, from Space Oddity to Starman, Man Who Fell To Earth or Life On Mars and the respect appears to have been mutual, most famously in Commander Chris Hadfield’s charming version of Space Oddity (above), which got a seal of approval from Bowie to use his copyright indefinitely. Following his death, space boffins have this week given Bowie his very own constellation.
Hope-peddling graffiti guy Shepard Fairey is probably best known for his Obama and Andre The Giant posters, but he has also done a pretty amazing run of space agency patches that really hit the mark too.
As part of the Beagle 2 mission to land a European rover on Mars, evergreen Britpop guitar mavens Blur actually composed the call signal for the craft, reckoned to be the first piece of music ever played on Mars. You can listen here.
As part of the same mission, cattle-preserving visual artist Damien Hirst was lucky enough to have one of his dot paintings on Mars, where it was used as a colour calibration chart for the very same Beagle 2 rover. Originally presumed lost, the plucky little robot was spotted by NASA in 2015, safe and well and on the surface. However, whether or not the local art crowd have gotten their tentacles on his work remains to be seen.