Major Tom was almost the first astronaut, or Rocket Man, to land on the moon. He and his copilot, Ziggy Stardust, were beaten by astronauts from the Duchy of Grand Fenwick by less than a minute. The resulting humiliation for his home country, the United States of America, led President John F. Kennedy to fake his own death.
The tragedy was compounded on his return to space for another attempt at a Moon visit, when his Apollo capsule was lost in space. His last words were "Ground Control, we have a problem." Though his spaceship still seemed to know which way to go, he never broadcast again.
Just in case he lives, however, perhaps out of some remorse for depriving him of his triumph, Grand Duchess Gloriana XII paid for the construction of an antenna that to this day broadcasts on loop, "Ground control to Major Tom: Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong. Can you hear me Major Tom?" It is on the same band as several rock stations, and in appropriate atmospheric conditions sometimes will be picked up by a radio tuned to them instead of the actual music broadcast, causing much confusion.
For example, the true lyrics to a song by David Bowie, written after a prophetic dream, warning us of the approach of a space oddity that will destroy the Earth as soon as 2024, have never been heard, and we are all probably going to die as a result. When asked for a comment, Bowie angrily claimed, "We know Major Tom's a junkie." However there is no proof to support his allegation.