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Chris Hadfield

Michael Berkeley's guest is astronaut Chris Hadfield. He chooses music from Strauss, Rossini, Hans Zimmer, William Herschel and Holst.

Chris Hadfield has described going into space as 'strapping yourself on top of what is essentially a large bomb'. He is one of the world's most respected astronauts, and his career has included Space Shuttle flights and helping to build the Mir Space Station, as well as serving as Director of NASA's operations in Russia and as Commander of the International Space Station during his final five-month mission. If that wasn't enough he's also a bestselling author and an accomplished musician - indeed he plays in an all-astronaut band. His cover of David Bowie's Space Oddity - which he recorded while orbiting the earth on the Space Station at over 17,000 miles an hour - has had more than 33 million Internet hits.

Chris talks to Michael Berkeley about his route to the stars, about overcoming fear and extreme danger - and the difficulties of playing a guitar in zero gravity.
He chooses music by Strauss, Rossini and Hans Zimmer, which he associates with particular space missions. He talks about his admiration for William Herschel, the eighteenth-century astronomer and composer. And an astronaut's Private Passions would not be complete without music from Holst's Planets Suite.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

39 minutes

Last on

Sun 17 Sep 2017 12:00

Music Played

  • David Bowie

    Space Oddity

    Performer: Chris Hadfield.
  • Gustav Holst

    Jupiter - the Bringer of Jollity (The Planets)

    Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: Sir Mark Elder.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    William Tell Overture

    Orchestra: Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano.
  • Hans Zimmer

    The Battle (Gladiator)

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra.
  • William Herschel

    Symphony No.8 in C minor

    Orchestra: London Mozart Players. Conductor: Matthias Bamert.
  • Stan Rogers

    Northwest Passage

  • Johann Strauss II

    On the Beautiful Blue Danube

    Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: Bryden Thomson.

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