Written by Stefan Aune
Cady Coleman isn't the first astonaunt to perform in outer space. In 1993, Space Shuttle Discovery mission specialist and classical flutist, Ellen Ochoa, had a flute performance broadcast back to earth for an educational event.
For many astronaunts, playing an instrument in space helps them to cope with the separation from friends, family, and the earth itself. Ellen Ochoa says that "you want to prepare yourself for being away a long time. One of the things you want to do is to carry on with activities that are important to you on the ground. A lot of those, you can't. But whenever you can--and playing a musical instrument is an example -- people sure like to do that." Astronaunt Carl Walz says that "the strangest thing about playing music in space is that it's not strange. In most homes, there's a musical instrument or two. And I think it's fitting that in a home in space you have musical instruments as well. It's natural. Music makes it seem less like a space ship, and more like a home."
|Astronaut Carl Walz playing for crew-mates on the International Space Station|