International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield is certainly making the most of his time up there space. This past Friday he teamed up with Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies fame to perform their original track, "I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)." For the live performance, they were joined by the Wexford Gleeks from the Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts, who were all at the CBC studios in Toronto.

The Canadian duo began co-writing the song several months ago when Hadfield was still in Russia training for the mission.

From the CBC:

"We've been pals for a long time and it just seemed like a fun thing to do," says Robertson of the song that is part of a planned album Hadfield wants to record while in space. "Chris and his brother write songs and they're really great, so he's going to record a bunch of stuff up there. The song we wrote together, I guess someone heard it and loved it, so before it was even finished we were asked to do this premiere and be a part of Music Monday."

As for the collaboration, Robertson says he was contacted by Hadfield in order to "bring the writing to the next level," and originally thought he would be doing the brunt of the work with limited feedback from Hadfield. As it turns out, it ended up being a full-on collaboration.

"I wrote the first verse and chorus, sent it to him, and asked for some technical jargon for the second verse because the first verse was emotional," says Robertson. "I asked him to be on the lookout for speeds and weights and a number of revolutions, serial numbers; anything we can use to put some technical data into this song. After about a day and a half he sent me the second verse, and it was poetic and good. I was just like, 'Dude you are a high-functioning individual.' You are in Russia training to command the I.S.S. and in your free time you wrote the second verse of this song."

As for what message they wanted to get across with the song, Robertson says he "wanted to impart some of the wonder that Chris has imparted to me. I wanted it to be a celebration not about the remoteness of space, but about the connectedness of a human being on the I.S.S. who looks down and sees the whole planet in a way that, from our perspective, we don't have the opportunity to."

More here and here (including notation and lyrics).