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An image provided by NASA shows astronaut Chris Hadfield recording the first music video from space on May 12, 2013.COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD/The Associated Press

Chris Hadfield's popular rendition of David Bowie's Space Oddity is back on the former Canadian astronaut's YouTube account after a six-month absence.

Mr. Hadfield confirmed on his website Monday evening that he had been able to renew the video's licence for another two years.

By the time he took it down after May 14, the clip of Mr. Hadfield performing his cover of the song while floating pensively in space had been viewed more than 23 million times.

The video's removal had sparked a debate about intellectual property and copyright laws.

In his website announcement, Mr. Hadfield underlined that it had always been understood when he initially made the video that he had permission to share it freely for only a year.

The rights to the 1969 song were initially held by a British firm, Essex Music. The worldwide rights are now owned by London-based publisher Onward Music, Simon Platz, managing director of the parent company Bucks Music Group, confirmed.

"The day we took the video down we started to work again to get permission to get it re-posted. But the legal process is careful and exacting, and thus takes time," Mr. Hadfield wrote on his website.

"Despite countless on-line expressions of frustration and desire, it wasn't anyone's ill-will or jealousy that kept this version of Oddity off YouTube. It was merely the natural consequence of due process."

Mr. Hadfield recorded the song while in orbit during a five-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

The version he performed had revised lyrics that alluded to his Russian Soyuz capsule and ended on a more upbeat tone than the original.

Mr. Hadfield commanded Expedition 35, the second leg of a mission that launched in December, 2012, and returned to Earth in May, 2013.

The video, he said, aimed "to capture the feeling of this one small step for humanity, and share it with you all."