The lyrics of David Bowie‘s 1969 classic ‘Space Oddity’ are the basis of a illustrated children’s novel by artist Andrew Kolb. In just under 40 pages, the book tells the story of brave astronaut Major Tom, who launches himself into space and wins the adoration of the press reporters down on earth.

A .pdf of the entire book can be downloaded for free at Kolb’s website here.

He explores even further with a space walk, only to watch his craft suffer critical damage from a meteor storm, leaving him trapped in space with time to send just one final message of love down to his wife.

Many people believe it’s not an accident, but choice that sends Tom out alone into the great beyond. The thinking goes that after seeing the beauty of space, he decides to leave Earth and all its problems behind once and for all.

‘Space Oddity,’ which was a hit immediately in England but didn’t take over the airwaves in America until a 1972 re-issue, has gone on to become of of Bowie’s signature songs. U2 used the song on their last tour as the soundtrack for their “360″ stage coming to life at the start of each concert.