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    Astronaut Releases Highest-Budget Music Video Ever
    By Robert Cooper | May 14th 2013 11:43 AM | 5 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Robert

    I have given up on categories. I did a BA in physics, a PhD in molecular biology, and now a postdoc in a bioengineering department. So call that...

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    The music-recording industry has been under pressure lately, as it struggles to adapt to the age of the internet.  This is the second major structural revolution to challenge the recording industry in the past few decades, the first being when video killed the radio star.  Music videos surged in popularity (and budget) in the '90s, but during the '00s (pronounced "uh-ohs") music video budgets seemed to have plateaued and begun to decline.  In fact, just 3 of the 20 most expensive (inflation-adjusted) music videos of all time were produced after 2000.  The most expensive of all time remains Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream" at $10 million.

    Or, at least, it was until NASA got in the game.  Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has just released a new cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" (Ground Control to Major Tom), filmed aboard the International Space Station.  No, those are not special effects - he is actually weightless.  Because he is actually in outer space.


    This video blows "Scream" out of the water, with a set costing around $100 billion (give or take, split internationally).  But if we just consider the cost of a single mission (on the order of $1 billion), that means this video only cost 100 "Scream"s to produce.  So was it worth it?  Considering the sound production values, good vocals, impressive editing, and the unprecedented aesthetics of seeing "Space Oddity" performed in its only truly natural setting, I would say yes, although I personally would have preferred Elton John's "Rocket Man" (possibly forthcoming).  Also, I do hear there was some decent science to offset some of the costs as well.

    Comments

    logicman
    Also, I do hear there was some decent science to offset some of the costs as well.
    :-)

    Yes indeed.  When the singing spaceman wasn't singing he produced some awesome science videos.  Check them out at the link I just gave.  More at: canadianspaceagency

    My favourite:

    logicman
    I think that your article Of Batman, Bacteria, And Yosemite Sam is brilliant.  I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys good science and witty writing, which is just about everybody here at science20,com really.  :-)
    car2nwallaby
    Thanks!  Your discovery of Atlantis isn't bad, either.  I was going go ask what you think of another lost city discovery, but apparently it's as Atlantean as all the rest.
    logicman
    Thanks for the link to a very good article.
    ... archaeology is one of those sciences that catches the popular imagination: pyramids! tombs! mummies! treasure!
    Hmmm.  I wonder why Rosemary Joyce didn't mention Hitler's secret Antarctic base.  ;-)

    My particular interest is industrial archaeology.  History is like navigation: before you can know where you are going you need to know where you came from.
    car2nwallaby
    I like prehistoric archaeology better than studying more recent times.  Sure, people were still all killing each other, but at least you can tell yourself we've come a long way since then.