Ground Control Sends Up Coin Honoring David Bowie

'Space Oddity' homage returns to Earth after 40 minutes, kicking off a series for sale
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2020 5:04 PM CST
Royal Mint Sends Bowie Coin to Space
The "Space Oddity" album cover is displayed at the Brooklyn Museum in 2018.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

It was taken up by a balloon, not in a tin can, but a David Bowie commemorative coin has been launched into space and brought back safely to Earth. Britain's Royal Mint was behind the launch, the Guardian reports, sending the coin 22 miles up. It's the first UK coin to be launched into space, said the mint, which is not selling it but will offer it as a prize on its Facebook page, which has photos of a couple of the coins. The coin spent 40 minutes in space, per the Express. Various versions of Bowie coins that will be sold range from £13 for an unlimited £5 coin to more than £72,000 for a £1,000 denomination, of which only 11 have been made.

"In recognition of Bowie’s first hit single, 'Space Oddity,' we felt it was fitting to send his coin into space and celebrate the Starman in his own pioneering fashion," a Royal Mint executive said. "David Bowie's music has inspired and influenced generations of musicians, and we hope this commemorative coin will be cherished by fans around the world." The first two coins in the Royal Mint's Music Legends series honored Queen and Elton John. "Space Oddity" was released in Britain in July 1969, five days before the US launch of Apollo 11. Bowie died at age 69 in 2016. (Read more David Bowie stories.)

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