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Astronaut to sing duet from space with pop star on earth

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Astronaut Chris Hadfield has been making history through his social media presence and original music from space. (Source: NASA) Astronaut Chris Hadfield has been making history through his social media presence and original music from space. (Source: NASA)

(RNN) - On Friday astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is currently aboard the International Space Station, will perform an original song titled I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) via satellite with Ed Robertson, a member of the Grammy award-winning group, Barenaked Ladies.

Hadfield will perform from space while Robertson performs from earth with a youth choir.

In a blog for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the national broadcaster of Canada, Robertson said the two had been planning the duet for quite some time.

"We've been pals for a long time and it just seemed like a fun thing to do," Robertson said. "…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 premier."

Robertson added that he wanted the song to be "a celebration not about the remoteness of space, but about the connectedness of a human being on the ISS who looks down and sees the whole planet in a way that, from our perspective, we don't have the opportunity to."

After the premiere, you will be able to listen to I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) on CBC Music's website.

The Feb. 8 performance will not be Hadfield's first performance from space. His first song recorded on the ISS was titled Jewel in the Night and can be viewed on YouTube

When he isn't writing music or being a flight engineer, Hadfield is making history through his social media presence.

When Hadfield took off for the space station on Dec. 19, he had 20,000 Twitter followers. Since then, that following has increased to more than 326,000.

Through some of the most historical use of social media tools, Hadfield is giving followers a firsthand look at life in space as well as breathtaking views of earth.

Hadfield has been tweeting numerous colorful, high-definition photographs of the earth from space, which have captured everything from the brush fires in Australia, to the Andes Mountains, to breathtaking views of U.S. cities and landmarks such as New York City, the Golden Gate Bridge, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Hadfield also posts videos capturing daily life in space, from cutting his fingernails to exercising.

In January, he became the first astronaut to participate in a ceremonial faceoff from space when he "dropped" the puck for the Toronto Maple Leaf's home opener.

All of Hadfield's hard work has not gone unnoticed. He recently caught the attention of William Shatner, best known for playing Starship Capt. Kirk in the well-known series Star Trek. Shatner first tweeted Hadfield and asked if he was tweeting from space.

"Yes, Standard Orbit Captain. And we're detecting life on the surface," Hadfield wittily replied.

On Feb. 7, Shatner and Hadfield took it one step further and had a direct conversation.

While Hadfield has taken social media interaction to a whole new level, he also could arguably be called one of the most accessible astronauts in history. He takes time to respond to almost every question he receives from Twitter followers.

And while it sounds like Hadfield's trip has been mostly fun and games, he and his fellow Expedition 34 crew members have been breaking records through their work. On Feb. 6, Hadfield tweeted that the crew had recently set a record for the most science ever done on ISS over a weeklong period.

Hadfield will remain a part of Expedition 34 until March 2013 when he will become the first Canadian commander of the ISS as he leads Expedition 35.

If you would like to receive Hadfield's updates you can follow him on Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield or visit his Facebook page, Col. Chris Hadfield.

Hadfield also recently set up a Tumblr.

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