A Song a Day: ‘Rocket Man’ on 40th anniversary of its release

André Kuipers on board ISS

André Kuipers on board ISS

ESA astronaut André Kuipers loves music and has a playlist of songs that he listens to during his PromISSe mission on the Space Station. His full playlist is available on his blog. Today André will be listening to ‘Rocket man’ on the 40th anniversary of its release. A classic rock song ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John and songwriter Bernie Taupin.

During long stays on the International Space Station, many astronauts take music with them for listening in off-duty hours. They say it is very important for the morale and psychological support of the crew. For his six-month mission, André included several versions of Rocket Man, one of his all-time favourites, in his playlist.

Released the day after Apollo 16 lifted off for the Moon on 16 April 1972, this song has had a special connection with generations of astronauts and many others in the space industry ever since, as well as inspiring and entertaining millions more people around the world.

Rocket Man was composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and appeared on John’s album Honky Château, released in May 1972. It became a hit single, rising to Number 2 in the UK charts and Number 6 in the US. It is included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.



  • Cat Sampson says:

    Rocket Man echos all over the world and space, and will for ever. It is the song of the best musician of our time. The best of it is that it has grown with Elton over the years and has become better and better. It lives with him and changes as Elton evolves. What an incredible artist Elton is. Congratulations Andre, you have good taste!

  • Alexandrina Cristina Niculescu says:

    I don’t like only ‘Rocket Man’, but all the music Sir Elton John composed, as I listened to it through the years, and because I might be an obssesiv-depressiv, I have a very good memory and I still know, at my age, almost all the songs he wrote. And I’m 52.

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