Sir Elton John sent a special message to the ‘rocket men’ on board the International Space Station by singing his classic song “Rocket Man.” The video was recorded on April 17, 40 years to the day after his single Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time) was released around the world.
Sir Elton also added this greeting:
“When I was a boy Dan Dare was a comic book hero, and space travel just a romantic idea, not a reality. I was 14 years old when Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space; my songwriting partner Bernie Taupin was just 11. Bernie and I did not meet until 1967, and two years after we met, Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on to the moon.
“Our generation was smitten with the glory and excitement of space travel. ‘Rocket Man’ – and indeed ‘Dan Dare’ on the Rock of the Westies album – came from those boyhood dreams of travelling beyond the stars and looking back on Earth.
“Not long after the Rocket Man single was released, my band and I were invited to the NASA headquarters in Texas and shown around by Al Worden, Apollo 15 command module pilot. It was thrilling to find that real astronauts liked our song, Rocket Man, which was about an imaginary astronaut.
“Now, 40 years later, it’s amazing to hear from the astronauts at the European Space Agency that they like the song and that it has been on the playlist on the International Space Station. I send my best wishes to ESA and all the crew, and my thanks for keeping those boyhood dreams alive.”
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.