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What music did astronaut David Saint-Jacques listen to before launching into space?

Holly Gordon

Quebec's David Saint-Jacques was aboard the successful Soyuz rocket launch this morning, a six-and-a-half-month mission that marks the first time a Canadian has been in space since 2013.

Before launch, though, the three crew members (Saint-Jacques along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and American astronaut Anne McClain) had 40 minutes to themselves — and they spent that time listening to music.

According to the Canadian Space Agency, music journalist Nicolas Tittley, who is a friend of Saint-Jacques' and works for ICI Musique, chose the "Before Space" playlist, which is heavy on the CanCon: songs by Elisapie, Alexandra Stréliski, Patrick Watson, Richard Reed Perry and Daniel Bélanger all made the cut, along with songs by David Bowie and the National.

Before Space playlist

- "Sleep/Swim," múm.
- "Green Grass of Tunnel," múm.
- "Quarrel," Moses Sumney.
- Music for 18 Musicians (Modular Version): Pulses, Steve Reich (Ensemble Signal).
- "On the Ground," Richard Reed Parry.
- "Subterraneans" (2017 remastered version), David Bowie.
- "Suspirium," Thom Yorke.
- "Rêver mieux," Daniel Bélanger.
- "Sunday Morning" (stereo version), the Velvet Underground & Nico.
- "Nuit debout," Camille.
- "Distant Sky" (feat. Else Torp), Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
- "Le départ," Alexandra Stréliski.
- "The Great Escape," Patrick Watson.
- "Ikajunga," Elisapie.
- "Sail to the Moon," Radiohead.
- "Flight from the City," Jóhann Jóhannsson, Yuki Numata Resnick, Ben Russell, Clarice Jensen and Tarn Travers.
- "Blue Moon," Beck.
- "Faites monter," Alain Bashung.
- "Fade into You," Mazzy Star.
- "Higgs Boson Blues," Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
- "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois," Sufjan Stevens.
- "Looking for Astronauts," the National.
- "New Star in the Sky," Air.
- "We’re Going Home," Clint Mansell.
- "Décollage," Air.
- "The Stars Our Destination," Stereolab.
- "Major Tom (Coming Home)," Peter Schilling.
- "A Model of the Universe," Jóhann Jóhannsson.


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